Originally published by Panay News Online
Kaya Futbol Club-Iloilo made its way back to the finals after a 1-0 escape over Stallion-Laguna FC in the 2022 Copa Paulina Alcantara semifinals on Tuesday night at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
Daizo Horikoshi was the lone goal scorer for the Iloilo City-based football club as they moved to the championship match against United City Football Club on May 22.
The defending champions Kaya-Iloilo were aggressive in the opening half with early attempts from Robert Lopez Mendy, Jhan Melliza and Audie Menzi but did not produced a goal.
Kaya-Iloilo had a close chance to break the scoreless draw early in the second half but Melliza misfired a Mendy pass. Stallion also had opportunities but was always thwarted by the defense.
The Ilonggos finally entered the scoring column at the 85th minute. Horikoshi took advantage on a lapse on Stallion-Laguna’s defense to hit it into the back of the net.
Stallion-Laguna still made its last push to force an extension period but all of its goal attempts down the stretch were all cleared by Kaya-Iloilo’s defense.
United City FC, the 2019 Copa Paulino Alcantara champions, also made a return trip to the championship round by scoring a 1-0 beating of Dynamic Herb Cebu.
After a scoreless opening half, United City FC surged ahead at the 60th minute mark as Simen Lyngbo scored on a header from an inbound pass by a teammate.
Dynamic Herb Cebu, the No. 2 ranked team after the elimination, had multiple opportunities late in the semifinals game to equalize but could not found a decent attempt.
The championship match between Kaya-Iloilo and United City is expected to be a tight one after they ended their elims game at 1-1 via exchange of goals by Horikoshi and United City’s Mike Ott.
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