Sports

Again on native soil, United nips Kaya in Copa closing


United City FC skipper Mike Ott (right) fights for possession against Patrick Arthur. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

United City FC skipper Mike Ott (proper) fights for possession towards Patrick Arthur. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

United City FC (UCFC) capped its return to the home scene with a bit of silverware after ending the reign of Kaya-Iloilo, 3-2, on Sunday, for the 2022 Copa Paulino Alcantara at Philippine Football Federation National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.

Two objectives from Pika Minegishi and group captain Mike Ott within the second half enabled United City to triumph regardless of some struggles late within the elimination spherical.

Minegishi’s equalizer and Ott’s winner which got here after Kaya took a 2-1 halftime lead highlighted by a thunderous strike by Jhan Jhan Melliza.

Kaya ended up taking house the runner-up medal, falling wanting capturing the Copa for the second straight time and three in 4 editions.

The winners of the 2020 Philippines Football League opted to skip the earlier Copa version, which was the lone event held throughout final 12 months’s home season as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

United City additionally got here in with a brand-new roster following the departures of key figures like Stephan Schrock and Bienvenido Marañon.

The closing noticed UCFC take the early lead 11 minutes in when former Kaya mainstay Kenshiro Daniels beat Carlyle Mitchell and goalkeeper Zach Banzon, who moved out of the field, with an try that bounced into an empty internet.

Kaya, nonetheless, drew degree virtually three minutes later when Melliza made a move for Robert Lopez Mendy, whose first try was blocked by goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus earlier than firing within the rebound.

The thirty first noticed Melliza ship top-of-the-line objectives of the competitors, firing a shot from 20 yards out which a diving Pinthus couldn’t forestall. The aim was Melliza’s third, epitomizing his stellar Copa stint.

Ott, who later acquired the Golden Ball award as the most effective participant of the Copa, then took benefit of Kaya’s defensive lapse as he was left unmarked and fired a right-footed try off Mark Hartmann’s nook kick, which gave United City the lead.

Kaya tried to equalize anew however possibilities went begging till the top, and UCFC was capable of wrest a home trophy for the second time.

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