Kaya hands bubble champion United City first season loss

Published November 9, 2020, 10:44 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from PFL

Kaya-Iloilo denied newly-crowned champion United City FC a perfect season after producing a 2-1 victory Monday night in the Philippines Football League at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

Kenshiro Daniels and Carlyle Mitchell scored in the first half before Kaya prevented UCFC from salvaging a draw to come away with a consolation win that capped off a campaign that had a promising title opportunity only to suffer a pair of slip-ups prior to the marquee duel.

The victory also gave Kaya a second place finish with 11 points, one behind United City and two clear of the Azkals Development Team, and a spot in the qualifying playoff of next year’s AFC Champions League.

Ironically, it was Kaya which ended up with an unbeaten season, going three wins that included a pair of 1-0 results against Maharlika-Manila and ADT and two draws opposite Stallion-Laguna (1-1) and Mendiola FC 1991 (0-0).

The loss didn’t dampen United City’s postgame coronation as it lifted the trophy before Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta, PFL commissioner Coco Torre and owner Eric Gottschalk, who took control after the decision of Ceres-Negros to transfer the club several months ago.

Individual awards all came from United City with Stephen Schrock getting the Golden Ball award, Spanish striker Bienvenido Maranon the Golden Boot and goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus the Golden Glove.

Kaya produced the opener in the 15th as Daniels booted a low shot to the far side off a cross by Eric Giganto from the right flank.

Mitchell added a second goal in the 38th when he scored a header off a Daniels’ corner kick, marking the first time Kaya scored twice in a game this season.

UCFC made things interesting seven minutes before added time when Maranon found Manny Ott for the goal, but Kaya was able to preserve the lead until the final whistle.