Kaya, Ceres to face in UFL Cup finals after beating separate foes

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The stage is set.

Kaya will contest the 2015 United Football League (UFL) Cup against league champions Ceres-La Salle at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Friday (August 28) after warding off their respective foes in the semifinals on Tuesday (August 25).

The first contest of the Tuesday double-header saw Kaya best Stallions 8-7 in a penalty shootout after extra-time.

Stallions started out the match on fire, going 2-0 up through goals from Simone Rota and Shirmar Felongco after 54 minutes. But the boys in yellow refused to go out without a fight and took a goal back after Patrick Osei slotted in a goal two minutes later to make it 2-1.

An unfortunate David Basa handball in the box five minutes later allowed Kaya to equalize. Kaya’s OJ Porteria made no mistake as he put the two teams on level terms with 29 minutes left in regulation.

No team could break the deadlock in regulation, pushing the match into extra time. Both teams exchanged goals, with Jordan Mintah and Diego Barrera scored for Stallions and Kaya, respectively.

The tie was finally settled in a penalty shootout, with Kaya keeper Nic O’Donnell saving former Azkal Ian Araneta’s spot kick before Louis Clark settled the tie by putting the ball beyond the Stalliion keeper.

The second fixture featuring the Loyola Meralco Sparks and Ceres-La Salle proved to be just as tight a match despite the lower scoreline.

Ceres-La Salle would do enough to squeak past the Younghusband-led Meralco Sparks, 1-0, after a second half strike from Orman Okunaiya found its way to the back of the Loyola net.

Brad Grayson almost put the Sparks ahead in the first half after being put through the Ceres defense following a Phil Younghusband through ball. Unfortunately for the Loyola man, he smashed his shot hard on the post.

It took 70 minutes for the deadlock to be broken as Ceres’ Okunaiya sneaked in a shot from outside the box to put the ball beyond the Merlaco keeper to make it 1-0.

Simon McMenemy’s men could not unlock the Ceres backline, which held firm on the way to a victory for the Bacolod-based squad.

Ceres-La Salle and Kaya will contest the UFL Cup Final at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Friday (August 28).