Ten-man Kaya FC withstood a late Ceres rally to win the 2015 UFL Cup via a penalty shootout last August 28 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Goalkeeper Nick O’donnel secured the win for Kaya after saving two shots from Ceres.
It was Kaya who took it to the league champions in the early going when Tishan Hanley sneaked a diving header forcing a one hand save from Louie Michael Casas. Kaya’s Joven Bedic found the back of the net minutes after but the referee ruled it out after contact was made to the Ceres goalie prior to the shot.
Ceres was in the backfoot in the first thirty minutes as the players were still adjusting to the combinations due to the absence of Manny Ott. The Bacolod squad regained some control in the remaining minutes after multiple attempts from their attacking players. Their best chance came when a Lee Jeong Woo superstrike was parried by O’donnel towards Okunaiaya who’s deflected cross found it’s way to Patrick Reichelts lap. Reichelt wasn’t quick enough to act causing his shot to be deflected out wide.
In injury time, OJ Porteria initiated a counter attack who laid off to Dieho Barrera in the wings with the midfielder issuing a perfect cross to Hanley. The striker buried the shot in the bottom corner giving Kaya a 1-0 lead just before the whistle.
Ceres started out strong in the second half with shot attempts from Bienvenido Marañon, Lee, and Martin Steuble. The strong start was negated by Kaya after forcing a counterattack where Joven Bedic supplied Diego Barrera with a good ball. The Colombian player hit an inch perfect strike where it hit the bar and in stunning Ceres for the 2-0 lead.
The Bacolod squad got back minutes later when Lee struck a beautiful curling shot to the second post to the delight of the Ceres fans. Things looked bad for Kaya as Lee was locking heads with Chris Greatwhich and both players were given yellow cards. Greatwich, who had recieved a yellow earlier, was given his marching orders after fourth official Clifford Daypuyat discussed the violation minutes later leaving Kaya to ten men.
Juani Guirado scored the equalizer in the 73rd after glancing in a cross from Martin Steuble. Ceres put pressure to the Kaya but timely saves from the keeper and the defense maintained the 2-2 scoreline after ninety minutes.
Ceres was pushing Kaya early in extra time but the LBC backed squad was resolute in holding up their 4-4-1 defensive position. Half chances were made but the defenses held on forcing the game into a penalty shootout.
With the score at two apiece, Ceres’ Louie Casas blocked the shot of Kaya’s third kicker in Kenshiro Daniels. The penalty was ordered to be retaken after the linesman adjudged the keeper to have come off the line before the shot was made. The retake however was also saved by Casas putting the pressure on Kaya.
Paul Mulders’ weak penalty was easily saved by O’donnel while Christian Ayew made no mistake putting the underdogs in the lead. O’donnel again saved another after a Martin Steuble penalty which forced a Ceres save in the next kick in order to stay alive. The Ceres goalkeeper guessed the right way but Louis Clarks’ bottom corner strike sealed the deal for Kaya for their first UFL title after many years.