By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The Kaya FC-Iloilo just clinched a semifinal spot in the ongoing Copa Paulino Alcantara football cup last October 8, 2023, held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Kaya FC formally claimed their qualification after annihilating the University of the Philippines (UP) Fighting Maroons during the second leg of the quarterfinals, 8-0.
In total, the Ilonggo booters scored an aggregate score of 11-0 after they got the better of the Fighting Maroons in the first leg, 3-0.
It was a dominant outing for Iloilo as they immediately ran their offensive sets to perfection in the first 45 minutes of action.
Mar Diano drew first blood for Kaya FC after finding the back of the net through a header goal in the 39th minute.
It only took Kaya FC four minutes to double their lead courtesy of an Abou Sy conversion near the penalty area. Just when UP thought they could hold their ground to avoid further damage in the closing minutes of the first half, Iloilo smelled blood and added two more goals to head to the second half with a commanding 4-0 lead.
Justin Baas tripled Kaya FC’s advantage a minute before the first-half whistle blew while Sy got his brace in the dying seconds of the half.
UP was in dire need of a goal at the start of the second half as they kicked off the match with high intensity and aggression but the more experienced Kaya FC just had answers and deployed the perfect defensive counters in every run they made.
17 minutes into the second half, Robert Lopez Mendy finally entered the scoring column for Kaya FC backstopped by Curt Dizon and Eric Giganto.
With the win, Kaya FC just set up a semifinal showdown against the Stallion Laguna FC who earlier eliminated the Maharlika Manila FC in their quarterfinal clash.