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MANILA, Philippines – Invincibles once again.
For the third time in the team’s history at the Copa Paulino Alcantara, Kaya FC-Iloilo has managed to stay undefeated en route to winning the domestic cup.
Kaya FC closed the campaign in style as it defeated Davao Aguilas-UMak FC in the championship match of the Copa Paulino Alcantara 2023 on Saturday, December 9, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The match went to extra time after a 1-1 scoreline in regulation, but both teams weren’t able to add more goals as the championship was decided via a penalty shoot-out, 4-3.
Kaya FC goalkeeper Quincy Kammeraad saved two penalties, while Justin Baas sealed the victory with the team’s fifth penalty in the shoot-out.
Yannick Tuason opened the scoring with a beautifully placed header at the 45+3’ mark to give the Davao Aguilas a crucial 1-0 advantage heading into the second half.
Kaya FC answered back as Arnel Amita produced a beautiful long-range chip over Davao goalkeeper Dini Tato Ouattara to equalize the title match at 1-1 in the 65th minute.
Despite missing in-form forward and former Ateneo standout Jarvey Gayoso in the title bout due to an accumulation of two yellow cards (one in the quarterfinals and one in the semifinals), Kaya FC started the match by dominating the possession and had two penalty shoots inside the first 31 minutes.
Abou Sy, Kaya FC’s leading goal scorer, had the first real chance to break the deadlock at the 20th minute as his right-footed shot near post was goal bound, but was brilliantly saved by Ouattara.
Simone Rota also had a goal scoring opportunity before the opening half ended, however, his left-footed shot went straight at the goalie for a comfortable save.
Davao then scored in added time via a Tuason header off a free-kick as they entered the halftime break with a 1-0 lead.
Kaya FC looked reinvigorated after Amita’s equalizer as they pushed for a later winner as the clock ticked on, but the team just couldn’t break Davao’s rock solid defense – a makeshift backfour as usual starters OJ Clarino and Pete Forrosuelo missed the championship match.
Second half substitute Robert Lopez Mendy found the back of the net at the 88’ mark, however, his tap-in was flagged offside by the linesman as the match went to extra time to determine the winner.
Kaya FC youth team also reigns supreme
Earlier, Kaya FC-Iloilo grabbed the PFF Under-19 Boys crown after defeating Palawan FC, 7-0, at the same venue.
Marco Perez notched a brace, while Adrian Peciller, Gael Guerrero, Jed Francisco, Benjamin Palacio III, and Will Pampolina each scored a goal to lift the youth team of Kaya FC to a resounding title-clinching victory. – Rappler.com