MANILA – Kaya-Iloilo clinched the Philippines Football League (PFL) championship without the need to grind for it after Stallion Laguna shut the door on Dynamic Herb Cebu’s last dash to the title with a goalless draw in their final season meeting on Wednesday at the Dynamic Herb Sports Complex in Talisay City.
Patrick Deyto played the Grinch for Cebu as he kept a clean sheet for Stallion Laguna with fantastic saves even as Papu Corsame blew Cebu’s best chance to save their title chase, a close-range shot from the right side of the goal that badly sailed off-target.
Cebu sent the ball into the goal late into the contest, but the goal was disallowed after the officiating crew ruled it as offside, riling up head coach Memhet Kakil, who confronted the head referee afterward.
The referee threw Kakil out of the playing field, capping a frustrating afternoon for Cebu, which failed to capitalize on Stallion Laguna going down to nine men due to red cards and even finished the match with only 10 booters due to a red card as well.
Despite ending its season with a 21-match unbeaten streak, Cebu will finish with only 51 points, one short of Kaya-Iloilo, which only has its Saturday night match against Stallion Laguna at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila as its game to spare.
A Cebu win could have prompted Kaya Iloilo to at least play Stallion Laguna to a draw or even win to clinch the title.
Stallion Laguna, on the other hand, is now up to 32 points after 20 matches.
Kaya-Iloilo became the second different club to win it all in the PFL after the Ceres-Negros/United Clark franchise ruled the first four full seasons of the league.
Dating back to the days of the old United Football League, Kaya-Iloilo has now won four top-division titles. (PNA)