Kaya-Iloilo wins Copa Alcantara for third straihgt

Kaya FC-Iloilo celebrates latest Copa Paulino Alcantara title. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO via Jihan Ivy P. Caparros

Kaya-Iloilo captured the Copa Paulino Alcantara for a record-extending third time after hurdling the challenge of Davao Aguilas-University of Makati, 4-3, on penalties following a 1-1 tie after extra time Saturday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Justin Baas scored the winner off Aguilas goalkeeper Dini Ouattara following a retake as Kaya once again ruled the annual domestic cup competition after falling short to United City in last year’s final in Carmona, Cavite.

Ouattara actually saved Baas’ initial attempt that would have extended the shootout, but referee Mick John Pineda ordered the Kaya midfielder to return to the spot for another kick.

While Baas sealed the deal, it was goalkeeper Quincy Kammeraad who kept Kaya alive in the shootout, making a pair of stops after Davao went ahead when Paolo Bugas scored and Ouattara stopping Robert Lopez-Mendy during the first attempt of both teams.

“Credit to the players, they kept going for 120 minutes but we got our hands on the trophy. I don’t care how we got it,” said Kaya coach Colum Curtis.

It was the second time the Philippines Football League champions had to come back after Davao led before the halftime break courtesy of Yannick Tuazon’s goal in the first half stoppage.

Nano Amita tied things up in the 65th minute when he took the ball away from Ouattara during a routine clearance before lifting the ball past the keeper and into the net for Kaya’s equalizing goal.

Kaya appeared to have taken the lead in the 86th when Lopez-Mendy scored a rebound, only for the goal to be disallowed because of an offside flag.

Kaya won all 10 games during the competition to add this year’s Copa to the ones it took in the inaugural staging in 2018, ironically over Davao, and in 2021 against the Azkals Development Team.

Davao settled for a runner-up finish after a dream run which saw the former PFL side reach the knockout stage and produce a stunning two-legged semis win over Dynamic Herb Cebu in its return to top-flight competition.

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