Group B play in the 2019 Copa Paulino Alcantara ended today in a shower of second-half fireworks as Stallion Laguna FC and incumbent holders Kaya FC Iloilo faced off in Biñan to determine top spot.
The game started in the customary manner matchups between these old rivals – Stallion setting their stall to break on the counter and Kaya switching play on the flanks to try and catch out the Pink and Black on the run, and with chances coming at a steady pace both clubs had reason to see a win come in as the halftime whistle rang out.
And as a moderate drizzle fell upon Biñan in the second half, the game paradoxically sparked into even more life. Kaya were able to cut down the flanks but Stallion netminder Hayeson Pepito proved equal to every challenge, while Louie Casas in the Kaya goal proved to be a fine vintage once again. The 57th minute would be a turning point, however, as Kenny Daniels’ fine run down the left flank won Kaya a throw-in, and a scramble in the penalty box allowed Jayson Panhay to stab the ball into the top corner of the net to put Kaya ahead. Stallion kept pushing for an equalizer, as they are wont to do, and their efforts came to fruit in the 74th minute, as Koichi Belgira whacked an absolute beauty of a free kick in from the edge of the box to leave honors even. Both sides tried to find the go-ahead goal but in the slick conditions, the tempo eventually slowed until the whistle. The game ended as it started, knotted up, but what a way to get there.