NEWLY-CROWNED Philippines Football League kings United City FC failed to complete a perfect season following a 1-2 loss to Kaya-Iloilo FC Monday night at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite.
It was not the finish it wanted in the bubble, but UCFC’s four victories were enough to become champions in the fourth season presented by Qatar Airways and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board.
The club formerly known as Ceres-Negros FC finished on top of the table with 12 points, one off Kaya-Iloilo, which placed second on three wins and two draws.
UCFC has secured a spot in the AFC Champions League, while Kaya-Iloilo has gained qualification in the second-tier AFC Cup.
Skipper Stephan Schrock was named the Most Valuable Player, while Spanish striker Bienve Marañon was the league’s top scorer with seven goals, highlighted by hat-tricks against Mendiola FC and Maharlika Manila.
Goalkeeper Anthony Pinthus, whom UCFC was able to secure a loan from the Azkals Development Team last August, took the Golden Glove award.
Kaya-Iloilo was the aggressor in the early goings, as Kenshiro Daniels and Carlyle Mitchell produced first-half goals.
Manny Ott pulled one back for UCFC in the 82nd minute but Kaya-Iloilo was able to protect the lead until the final whistle.