Wait is over for Kaya FC as it claims first UFL silverware by edging Ceres in penalty shootout in Cup finale

KAYA FC outlasted fancied Ceres-La Salle, 4-2, in a pulsating United Football League Cup finale that reached a penalty shootout to capture a first-ever UFL silverware on Friday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The perennial title contenders finally got over the hump as it refused to lose after squandering a two-goal lead and going a man down in regulation.

Goalkeeper Nick O’Donnell shone brightest in the shootout, denying two attempts, before teammates Christian Ayew and Louis Clark converted their shots to seal the deal.

Kaya, a founding UFL member owned by LBC boss Santi Araneta, thus ended a seven-year title drought, while denying Ceres a title double after the Bacolod-based side ruled the league last month.

“It’s quite awesome,” Kaya manager Paul Tolentino said. “I can’t stop thinking about all these boys who worked so hard to get here. They deserve this.”

“And to all those amazing Ultras fans, the way they supported us, to be able to give this back to them, that was the one thing I kept thinking about.”

Kaya also booked the second Asian Football Confederation Cup berth, joining Ceres in the second-tier club competition in the continent next year.

It was the second straight match that reached a penalty shootout for Kaya, which survived Stallion FC, 5-4, in the semifinals. 

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