Philippine football

Numero uno: Kaya FC claims first PFF Women’s League title

Juro Morilla

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Numero uno: Kaya FC claims first PFF Women’s League title

TITLE MATCH. Kaya FC-Iloilo and Manila Digger FC dispute the ball.


Substitute Sheen Nicole Ramores grabs a late winner to lift Kaya FC-Iloilo past Manila Digger FC in the PFF Women’s League final

MANILA, Philippines – A new champion was crowned in the 2023 PFF Women’s League as Kaya FC-Iloilo defeated Manila Digger FC, 1-0, on Saturday, November 11 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. 

Sheen Nicole Ramores came off the bench to secure a winner at the 86th minute to give Kaya FC a historic championship victory over Manila Digger. 

Ramores drilled in a right-footed shot inside the penalty box as Kaya FC finally unlocked a tight defense by Manila Digger, who were playing with only 10 players after Hannah Pachejo’s dismissal at the 26th minute.

It was a triumphant return for Kaya FC after pulling out midway through the inaugural Women’s League in 2016 and completely missing the next two seasons. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Women’s League was shelved from 2020-2022 and only resumed this year after launching the third season of the PFF Women’s Cup last November 2022. 

In its Women’s Cup debut, Kaya FC finished on top of the table after the elimination round with 18 points out of a possible 21, but fell short in the Final Four to the eventual tournament runners-up UP Lady Maroons. 

Kaya FC closed out the Women’s Cup on a high note by winning the bronze medal match against Tuloy FC and continued the momentum in the Women’s League by losing just once this season.

A loss to the UAAP Season 85 and 2022 PFF Women’s Cup champions FEU Lady Tamaraws and a scoreless draw versus Manila Digger were Kaya FC’s only blemishes in their elimination round record as they accumulated 22 points and a +36 goal difference en route to the Final Four.

In the semifinals, they carried out a come-from-behind 2-1 win against La Salle as Shelah Cadag and Hazel Lustan took over in the second half and catapulted Kaya FC to the finals.

Cadag and Lustan started the championship match, but they were shut down by the Manila Digger defense in the quiet opening 45 minutes. 

Eleven minutes into the second half, Camille Rodriguez won a spot kick and stepped up to take the penalty, but her attempt was saved by Manila Digger goalkeeper Ayishatu Simpson to keep Kaya FC scoreless until Ramores found the breakthrough goal.

At the 90’ mark, 7 minutes of added time was signaled by the referee, but Manila Digger fell short of finding an equalizer as Kaya FC rolled on to its first ever domestic league title. 

Podium finish for FEU

Earlier, FEU defeated three-time Women’s League champions La Salle, 2-1, to claim a third-place finish in this season.

Carmela Altiche broke the deadlock at the 34th minute with a left-footed volley at the near post to give FEU an early 1-0 advantage. 

Angelica Teves equalized at the 49’ mark after converting a penalty kick, but FEU grabbed the lead for good as team captain Dionesa Tolentin drilled in a goal from a tight angle in the 55th minute to seal the bronze medal finish. –

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