LOSING some valuables to burglars who raided the locker room before the game and going two goals down early failed to break the spirit of Pasargad.
Thriving in adversity, PSG nipped Green Archers Globe in a dramatic and controversy-filled penalty shootout Saturday night to advance to the finals of the PFF Smart National Club at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Pasargad won the shootout, 2-1, to complete its remarkable comeback from a 0-2 deficit in regulation of a match where it finished with only eight men after two more players, including standout keeper Reza Ataei, were sent off during the shootout.
As a result, Pasargad will face fellow surprise finalist Ceres on Saturday without four players from its regular starting eleven.
Chieffy Caligdong and Jovanie Simpron scored within a minute apart in a frenetic sequence, but Pasargad quickly leveled through Charles Ujam and Reza Amirkhizan.
Caligdong fired home a looping long-range effort in the 18th minute for his tournament-leading fourth goal, before a swift counterattack involving Tating Pasilan, Arnie Pasinabo and Caligdong led to a cool finish for Simpron.
The Archers’ lead lasted only six minutes, though, as Ujam struck from close range and Amirkhizan scored from just outside the box.
PSG striker Emmanuel Mbata was dismissed in the second half for a second yellow card for diving.
Caligdong struck first in the shootout and Hamed Hajimedi leveled quickly.
Pasilan was denied by the bar on his retaken penalty, before Francis Sumuduvilla scored what turned out to be the winning penalty.
There was more drama, though, after Ataei thwarted the spotkicks of Elle Cagayanan and Tommy Escoltero. Pasargad still needed one more goal but Ataei, who was already on a yellow card, took off his jersey in early celebration along with Taher, leading to their dismissal.
But PSG weathered the storm as Ayi Nii Aryi, now facing Sumuduvilla, hit the post.