The race for the United Football League championship finally comes to an end on Tuesday night, as contenders Kaya and Global vie for Division One supremacy in separate matches at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
League-leading Global, which has 41 points, only needs to prevail over the Loyola Meralco Sparks in their 8 p.m. tiff to secure the crown.
“Everything counts here,” Global marketing head Rafael Garcia said. “As long as the boys continue and focus with the game plan, I believe we can win this one.”
In their first encounter of the season, Global yielded a 4-3 loss to Loyola behind two goals from Sparks stalwart James Younghusband.
Global will rely on the striking prowess of Sudanese Izo Elhabib, as well as Azkals standouts Carli de Murga, Misagh Bahadoran, and Angel Guirado, among others, to try to overcome the Sparks.
Meanwhile, clinching the title would be more difficult for second-ranked Kaya, which has 39 points. Aside from needing to win over fourth-seed Penson Stallion Giligan’s in their 5:45 p.m. match, Kaya should also hope that Global loses in the second game to emerge as champions.
Despite the big adversity they face, Kaya defender Aly Borromeo remains optimistic about their title chances.
“We’re actually hoping to win the game and be champions,” Borromeo said in an AKTV interview. “But we’re gonna rely on Meralco.”
Kaya settled for a 1-1 draw against Stallion in their first battle last May.
Aside from Borromeo, expected to spearhead Kaya are Anton del Rosario, Nate Burkey, Joshua Beloya, and Adrian Semblat.
Meanwhile, the Sparks, who were once title favorites, said they will still go all out in their last game of the season despite being booted out of championship contention after failing to win in their last two matches.
“We still have the chance to come second and remain unbeaten against the top two teams,” Loyola star Phil Younghusband said.
The two crucial matches will be aired live on AKTV on IBC 13.