Kaya nips Global, hands UFL title to StallionBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
STALLION wrested the United Football League title to complete a rare championship double for the season Thursday night, after Global bungled its chance when it lost to Kaya, 2-3, at Emperador Stadium.
Global came into the game six points behind Stallion and needed to win its last two matches to forge a tie at the top.
Stallion wrapped up its season with 46 points including a season 1-1 draw against Loyola Meralco last Tuesday, opening the door for Global.
But with Kaya rallying from two goals down and Global collapsing in the second half, Stallion sealed the title that comes just six months after its triumph in the UFL Cup.
It was a stellar season for Ernie Nierras’ side which won 15 of its 18 matches with two losses coming at the hands of Global. But Stallion’s huge 4-2 victory against Loyola in the first round and string of solid performances late in the season keyed the romp.
Powered by Rufo Sanchez’s 18 goals, Stallion, which claimed 46 points, surpassed Global’s tally when it ruled the league last season with 41.
Stallion players greeted the final whistle in jubilant mood at the grandstand even as Kaya also completed a sweep of Global in their season series.
Global striker Izzo El Habbib scored twice in the first 36 minutes to put the 2012 champions firmly ahead. El Habbib opened the scoring with a clinical finish in the 10th minute before doubling his tally with a header.
But the match turned three minutes later when Kaya was awarded a penalty after what appeared as a soft challenge by Carli De Murga on Eric Dagroh inside the box.
Chris Greatwich smashed his penalty to the post, but buried the rebound to cut the deficit. Global absorbed a double blow with Marwin Angeles also going down injured.
Looking for payback after Global edged them for the title on goal difference last season, Kaya equalized in the 57th minute through defender Junior Muñoz who headed home a cross from Logan McDaniel.
In the first match, Pasargad drubbed Air Force, 5-0—relegating the four-time UFL champions for the first time in history.
The Airmen finished the season in last place with only six points from their 18 matches with a stunning 50-goal differential.