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New champion to be crowned in PFFWL as Kaya-Iloilo, Manila Digger forge title clash


The PFF Women’s League is set to crown a new champion after its reigning champion since its inception was defeated by Kaya-Iloilo in the latest semifinal held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The title match for the fourth installment of the league will feature a contest between the club teams Kaya-Iloilo and Manila Digger, with the latter securing their spot after a semifinal victory over Far Eastern University.

The final of the 2023 PFF Women’s League is tentatively scheduled for November 8 and will take place at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Kaya emerged victorious last Saturday, beating De La Salle University 2-1 and denying the UAAP team the chance of a four-peat.

As the top-seeded team at the end of the elimination round, Kaya was the favorite in this semifinal. However, the Iloilo-based club quickly found themselves on the backfoot after Angelica Teves scored an opening goal for DLSU in the 19th minute.

PFFWL-2023-Semifinals-2-Chenny-Danoso-DLSU-Irish-Navaja-Kaya-FC New champion to be crowned in PFFWL as Kaya-Iloilo, Manila Digger forge title clash DLSU FEU Football News PFF Women's League  - philippine sports news

Facing the risk of another semifinal loss, similar to their debut in the cup tournament last year, Kaya turned things around in the second half. They secured an equalizer just four minutes after the restart, thanks to Shelah Cadag.

The club gained momentum and successfully defended against La Sallian counterattacks, led by national standout Hali Long.

“Everyone entered this game knowing that we have a little bit of history to close, and we were able to do it in the best way. I’m proud of how the team was able to write and continue to write Kaya’s story,” said Camille Rodriguez.

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The national midfielder played a crucial role in Kaya’s resurgent play and was credited with the assist to Cadag. Her attacking efforts paid off in the 65th minute after she was fouled inside the box.

That earned Kaya a penalty, which Hazel Lustan duly converted for the winning goal.

PFFWL-2023-Semifinals-1-Manila-Digger-FC-celebrate New champion to be crowned in PFFWL as Kaya-Iloilo, Manila Digger forge title clash DLSU FEU Football News PFF Women's League  - philippine sports news

In the other semifinal held last month, Manila Digger continued to surprise the league and their peers by defeating PFF Women’s Cup and UAAP champions FEU.

The newly established club faced a tough challenge against the formidable Morayta-based squad, but their experienced veterans held firm in defense.

The match remained goalless for the full 120 minutes, including extra time, which meant the winner could only be decided after penalties. Digger took the lead early after a miss by Janly Fontamillas, but Yasmin Elauria’s save on Karen Aloras’ effort allowed FEU to catch up.

PFFWL-2023-Semifinals-1-Ayishatu-Simpson-Manila-Digger-FC New champion to be crowned in PFFWL as Kaya-Iloilo, Manila Digger forge title clash DLSU FEU Football News PFF Women's League  - philippine sports news

In the final round, Hannah Faith Pachejo’s conversion gave Digger the advantage again, and it was up to Kyla Doctora to answer and keep FEU in the match.

Ayishatu Simpson became the heroine for Digger after saving Doctora’s spot kick but was ruled off her line. Luck was on her side during the retake, however, when Doctora’s shot hit the post, handing the semifinal victory to Digger.

“I want to thank the Almighty for what He has brought us. It’s not easy. I want to thank my teammates and officials for what they have done. We are a team, and that’s why we have reached this place,” Simpson shared before promising to win the championship.

Written By

Mia's problem is she likes too many things. Sometimes she's an engineer, sometimes an athlete, sometimes an artist, sometimes a faux dog whisperer, sometimes an otaku, often a Kobe Bryant and Roger Federer fangirl but she most definitely is a sports enthusiast and a strong advocate of the women's game.


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