Originally published by ABS-CBN News
United City came back from a goal down to stun Kaya-Iloilo, 3-2, in a thrilling final of the 2022 Copa Paulino Alcantara on Sunday night at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite.
Mike Ott delivered the winner in the 68th minute, converting off a set piece following a corner kick by Mark Hartmann.
United City dethroned their rivals, as Kaya had ruled the tournament in 2021 after a 1-0 triumph against the Azkals Development Team. United City did not compete in that tournament, however.
They made a triumphant comeback in 2022, advancing to the semifinals on the strength of two wins and four draws in the elimination round. Kaya topped the elims with five wins and a draw.
United City slipped past Dynamic Herb Cebu, 1-0, in the semis, and Kaya booked a similar 1-0 win against Stallion Laguna to set-up a finals clash.
United City drew first blood in the final, with Kenshiro Daniels finding the back of the net in the 11th minute.
But Kaya roared back almost immediately, as Robert Lopez found the equalizer just two minutes later before Jhan-Jhan Melliza put his side ahead in the 31st with a left-footed strike from outside the box.
United City was able to respond in the second half, as a defensive miscue by Kaya led to Hikaru Minegishi’s equalizer at the 51st minute. Ott’s strike completed the comeback in the 68th minute.
Ott went on to earn the Golden Ball, while Kaya’s Daizo Horikoshi earned the Golden Ball after scoring six goals in the tournament. Pinthus won Golden Glove honors.
In the third place match, Stallion Laguna outlasted Dynamic Herb Cebu, 2-1, with Jo Warren Beda scoring the late winner.