Local professional football clubs Davao Aguilas FC and Kaya FC – Iloilo are set to lock horns for the championship match of the inaugural Copa Paulino Alcantara at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Saturday 27 October 2018.
The two clubs in the Philippines Football League (PFL) will he battling for a chance to represent the country in the group stages of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup early next year.
During the semifinal round of the first-ever professional football cup competition in the country, the Aguilas outlasted JPV Marikina FC, 6-1, through the four-goal romp of Korea Republic striker Kin Sungmin in Rizal last 21 October.
“I’m very very proud for Davao to be one of the two teams to contest this Cup Final,” said Davao assistant coach Leigh Manson. “This is an exciting event for the club.”
Meanwhile, Kaya relied on the hat-trick performance of Senegalese forward Robert Lopez Mendy to escape the pesky Stallion Laguna FC, 3-2, in their semifinal affair at the Iloilo Sports Complex.
“We’ve been waiting for this Cup Final,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida. “A spot in the AFC Cup is at stake, but for us it’s not just about AFC because we also want to honor Paulino Alcantara.”
The Davao Aguilas will be led by Azkals top gunner Phil Younghusband together with brother James and fellow Filipino internationals in Patrick Deyto, Dennis Villanueva, and Simone Rota to name a few.
“It’s always a good game against Kaya. For us this is an opportunity to play in the AFC Cup next year,” said Younghusband. “That alone give the players hunger and hopefully we get the win.”
For Kaya Iloilo, leading Copa goalscorer Lopez Mendy will be on deck to head their attack together with national team standouts Miguel Tanton, Marwin Angeles, Jovin Bedic, and Antonio Ugarte.
“We are excited to play in the first ever final of the Philippines,” said Tanton. “Both teams are in good form and we’re excited.”