UAAP teams University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University flexed their highly-trained pedigree by besting club team counterparts Kaya-Iloilo and Tuloy in the PFF Women’s Cup semifinals last weekend in Carmona.
Borra hits winning penalty as UP edges out Kaya in shootout
Kaya-Iloilo was the top seed at the end of the elimination phase and was seen as favorites to reach the Cup final and were expected to casually dispatch the fourth-seeded University of the Philippines only to be dealt a shock defeat by the collegiate side after the match reached penalties.
Despite being loaded by national team talent including active players Inna Palacios and Hali Long, UP was able to hold them back and not concede any goal during regular time mostly through the efforts of Jennifer Baroin who coolly handled an intimidating Kaya attacking front along with a disciplined Maroon backline.
“It really was just team effort, team fight. It was just all of us doing our best as a team collectively, we really fought for it and I’m so proud of myself, and my teammates for everything that we were able to accomplish,” Baroin later said after being named Player of the Match.
With the match ending 0-0 even after the extra 30 minutes, a penalty shootout ensued to separate the two sides. Palacios was tasked to protect the goal for Kaya, Coline Acelo for UP.
Mea Bernal was the first to take a penalty in the shootout but the Kaya defender had her shot hit the post, handing UP the advantage. UP’s Alyssa Ube, Alyanna Yatco, Alyssa Narido, and Bethany Talbot converted their spot kicks afterward until Baroin missed hers which erased their lead.
Since Bernal’s initial miscue, Hali Long, Shelah Cadag, Hazel Lustan, Charisa Lemoran were able to net their penalties, but right after tying with UP, Palacios went from shot stopper to taker only to have her attempt saved by Acelo.
Jazinda Borra only needed to make her shot in order for UP to win and the substitute forward delivered, sending her team to the final.
Magbitang key as FEU blanks Tuloy 3-0
Far Eastern University was the victim of an upset win by Tuloy just the previous round but when things mattered most in an elimination game such as a semifinal, they made sure to bring their A-game to reach the final.
FEU set the tone early after a team goal in the 18th minute sent Tuloy defenders scrambling in the box as the Tamaraw frontline made quick passes to each other before finding Katrina Magbitang for the finish.
This appeared to have rattled Tuloy as they were unable to find answers and FEU went on to get insurance goals in the 60th and 79th minutes from Lylhanie Cayabyab and Dionesa Tolentin, who were virtually uncontested.
“Yes we had lapses from our last two games, but sa preparation namin ngayon nakita namin yung outcomes na sobrang daming na-improve sa amin. Happy kami kasi na-apply namin lahat yung system na binigay sa amin ni coach,” said Magbitang, who was later hailed Player of the Match.
The PFF Women’s Cup will come to a close on Saturday, December 17, at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona with the battle for third between Kaya FC-Iloilo and Tuloy FC at at 4:00 P.M. Afterwards, the all-UAAP final between the University of the Philippines and Far Eastern University will take centerstage at 7:00 P.M. The games will be broadcasted live on the Facebook page of the PFF Women’s League.