United City wrap up Philippines Football League title

United City Football Club celebrate their 2020 Philippines Football League title success after defeating Stallion Laguna 7-1 at the PFF National Training Center. Photo Courtesy of Philippines Football League

United City Football Club may be sporting a new look after their recent rebranding from former league champions Ceres Negros, but their winning ways have not changed in the slightest.

UCFC have run away with the 2020 Philippines Football League title after smashing Stallion Laguna 7-1 at the PFF National Training Center in Carmona, Cavite, on Friday.

United's pathway to the title became clear after closest rivals Kaya FC Iloilo were frustrated in a goalless draw with bottom-placed club Mendiola FC 1991 in the early morning kickoff. That result meant United knew that victory against Stallion would secure the trophy.

United got off to a blistering start against Stallion, and Mike Ott combined with Bienvenido Marañon to open the scoring in the sixth minute.

Ibrahima N'dour found a gap within the United backline just six minutes later, however, and he gave Stallion an improbable equalizer that turned the game on its head.

United continued to dominate possession, and they regained the lead from a short corner that saw Takeshi Odawara float a header in the 27th minute.

The Biñan-based Stallion ended the half with a number of set pieces into the United box, but they failed to threaten to score again.

After the break, a more ruthless United took to the pitch and pressured Stallion relentlessly.

United scored five more goals in the space of 22 minutes, Marañon netting three and Ott and O.J. Porteria also on target.

United now have 12 points in the shortened league, four clear of their closest rivals, Kaya, with a goal difference of +23.

United play Kaya to formally complete their season on Monday, when they will be awarded the trophy.

Including the three won by Ceres Negros, this is the fourth straight title for the core that now forms United City.

The midday game saw Jarvey Gayoso and Chima Uzoka notch braces to add to Yrik Gallantes' goal to propel the Azkals Development Team past Maharlika Manila FC.

The result means Maharlika cannot overtake Kaya to claim an AFC competition berth.