Stallions survive Chieffy Caligdong-led Green Archers fightback to clinch UFL Cup semis berth
Simone Rota celebrates after scoring the opening goal for Stallions. Jaime Campos

STALLION FC survived a gritty Green Archers United, 3-2, to clinch the first semifinal berth in the United Football League Cup on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Stallions built a two-goal lead that proved enough cushion a late Archers’ comeback led by Chieffy Caligdong, who fired a brace in the second half to set up the thrilling finish in their quarterfinal matchup.

Simone Rota opened the scoring before Balot Doctora and Fitch Arboleda struck the insurance goals for the Stallions, who set up a meeting against the winner of the pairing between Global FC and Voltes on Sunday.

Except for his miscues, Ref Cuaresma was solid also on goal for the Stallions to be named Man of the Match.

Rota, who started for the Azkals in their historic 3-2 upset win over North Korea last Tuesday, unlocked the Archers’ defense 20 minutes into the match with a low shot off a free kick.

Caligdong retaliated with his own free-kick conversion from long range four minutes into the second half, before Doctora and Arboleda found the back of the net to put the Stallions up by two goals.

Caligdong struck anew from the edge of the box as the match was headed into stoppage time and conjured another chance that just missed its mark.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos