The Weekend Futbol League Cup that started back early October 2016 side-by-side with the league, is about to come to an end with the last four teams battling it out last weekend. After six rounds of the cup, with teams coming from all three divisions including guest teams, we were down to the last four teams. Two teams came from the Champions Division, Kaya Elite FC and Manila Hurricane FC, while the other two representing the lower division (Challengers) Manila Tala and the BSM Leons.
BSM Leons vs Kaya Elite
BSM Leons were host to the two-time title holders Kaya Elite last Saturday morning on the British School Manila grounds. BSM Leons, who consisted mostly of the staff of BSM and the former Nomads’ players, scored a late equalizer against Kaya Elite, the only pro-team in the three tier-league. Kaya was ahead (2-1) with only 10 minutes to go before pressure
from a long throw, forced the Kaya Keeper to hand the ball into his own net (2-2), making the victors of the current Champions’ Division straight to penalty shootout after full time. Based on the rules of the League, any draw in the cup must have a penalty shootout unless in the finals. Kaya were the first to kick and scored all four shots leaving the BSM keeper no chance with any of the shots. BSM were unlucky however, missing on their second and fourth kick with Phil Connolly sky-ing the ball well over the bar to decide their fate.
For the actual shootout, visit the link below:
Manila Tala vs Manila Hurricanes
Manila Tala FC faced an old rival from the Challengers Division, the Manila Hurricanes (Manhur). The game was played two hours past noon at the BGC Turf. Home to both teams, Manila Tala recruiting from Football Manila open play slots and Manhur pooling from Urban Football sessions. With both teams acknowledging this, it was beyond just the football match but who would put claim to the turf.
Second half ended 2-0 in favour of the home side with Nico Bolzico heading the ball after just 20 minutes and Solo with a wondrous freekick from the edge of the box. Manhur got their groove going by scoring a freekick of their own which went off the wall leaving the Tala keeper on a stand still. Manhur played tough and pressed higher and harder into Tala territory. Eventually Yaya Kone came to the rescue by scoring a thunderous goal across the goal from the left flank to the far top corner leaving the Tala 6’4” tall keeper KC Ogbonna no chance. Manhur kept on pressing with only the final whistle to save the weary home side.
There was a bit of an argument between the two sides in terms of the way to go (penalties or extra time) but the director and founder of the league Jose Pratz coming to the rescue by confirming it was penalties. All first two kickers from both sides hit the back of the net but KC denied the third kicker by saving the bottom right shot. The captain of the home side buried his shot by sending the keeper to the wrong side while the fourth kicker booted it well over the bar and right after the acrobatic Solo Quaye sealing it down the middle (4-2). Sounds of joy and Happiness from the home side as they celebrated their first ever ticket to the WFL Cup Final of the four years of the club’s existence.
New Boys vs the Pro Team
The time and venue of the finals are yet to be confirmed but one thing for sure is that the new boys (Talacticos) who have had an unbeaten season are on the loose and looking to test their stand against a powerhouse of the league. Kaya Elite is also the second team of Kaya who plays in the first division and have represented the country in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup internationally. Kaya FC Elite are looking to erase the disastrous cup run that they lost to Fil-Chi (who Tala edged out in the quarter final last December) in the finals in a penalty shootout in 2016. Will Tala be able to be the second team from the Challengers Division, to consecutively rip the hopes of Kaya Elite from winning the double?
If there is anything that is evident here is the fact that, no doubt the WFL keeps on getting more competitive as the years go by. Be sure to try and catch the game on the 2nd of April.
For more on the WFL and the Cup visit the official page of the league:
Written by: Lee A. Suleiman