MANILA, Philippines?Iloilo nipped National Capital Region-B, 2-1, on Sunday, to reach the finals of the PFF Suzuki Cup Under-23 National Championships at the Barotac Nuevo ball field.
Shirmar Felongco and Francis Gustilo scored a goal each to power the Ilonggos, who finished as the No. 1 team in the bracket that played in Laguna, to the finals, where they await the winner of the Negros Occidental-Davao match on Monday.
The home-and-away finals is scheduled May 19 and 22.
Gustilo struck the winning goal from the penalty spot seven minutes from time after NCR defender Deo Segunial was whistled for handball inside the area.
Felongco opened the scoring, slotting the ball to an empty net in the 23rd minute after great work by Chester Braga had NCR keeper Patrick Deyto beaten.
But NCR got a lifeline 12 minutes from the time when Jess Melliza scored from a free kick just outside the box.
?We are looking forward to getting back at Bacolod if they advance to the finals,? said Iloilo coach Marjo Allado, who would miss Gustilo and Felongco in the first leg of the finals after earning their second yellow cards for the tournament against NCR.
?It was a good victory in front of the home crowd considering that the NCR team is very good but a championship will be better.?