Copa Wrestled by FC Iloilo

Kaya FC Iloilo Clinches 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara Title in Penalty Shootout Drama

The 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara final was a thrilling and intense match between Kaya FC Iloilo and Davao Aguilas-UMak, which ended in a dramatic penalty shootout victory for Kaya. The match, held at Rizal Memorial Stadium, was a spectacle for the fans in attendance and showcased the talent and resilience of both teams.

Kaya FC Iloilo, a powerhouse in Philippine football, faced a tough challenge from Davao Aguilas-UMak, who made a strong comeback after a four-year absence from the tournament. Despite their advantage in depth and experience, Kaya had to work hard to overcome a gritty Davao side that took the lead through Yannick Tuason’s header in first half stoppage time.

However, Kaya fought back and equalized through Arnel Amita in the second half, setting the stage for a tense battle that eventually led to a penalty shootout. Both teams had their chances to win the match in regular and extra time, but it was the nerve and composure of Kaya that ultimately prevailed in the shootout.

Midfielder Justin Baas became the hero for Kaya as he converted his spot kick to seal the victory and spark wild celebrations among the players and fans. The win marked Kaya’s third Copa title, adding to their previous triumphs in 2018 and 2021.

The individual awards were also handed out after the match, with players from both teams being recognized for their outstanding performances. Paolo Bugas was named the best midfielder, Simone Rota the best defender, Abou Sy the best striker, Quincy Kammeraad the best goalkeeper, and Daizo Horikoshi the Most Valuable Player.

Overall, the 2023 Copa Paulino Alcantara final was a fitting end to a thrilling tournament, showcasing the best of Philippine football and highlighting the talent and passion of the players involved. Congratulations to Kaya FC Iloilo for their hard-fought victory and to all the teams that participated in the competition.

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