It was only one game although the outcome went both ways
FC Meralco Manila’s consistency throughout the 2017 Philippines Football League was rewarded as they secured not only a berth to the Finals Series but also a designation as one of the top two seeds for the post-season dance.
In contrast, JPV Marikina post-season hopes were dashed last Tuesday at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
Substitute midfielder Ali Mahmoud’s unfortunate own goal that granted the Sparks a 1-0 win which granted them 54 points, a huge lead at the top of the standings which meant they can go no lower than secondnd place.
“Our lack of scoring will not be a problem,” shared Meralco coach Aris Caslib after the game. “On transitions and set plays we can deliver. We are trying to involve more players in attack. At the end of the day one goal is good enough to win a match.”
After a goalless first period, Mahmoud was brought on for defender Alexandro Elnar only for the latter’s contribution to JPV to backfire. Meralco midfielder Tahj Minniecon provided a cross into the JPV box that Mahmoud accidentally directed home after 55 minutes of action.
Meralco held on for the win that ended JPV’s chances of making it to the Finals Series. JPV are now at 6th place with 28 points.
“Our finishing was not there,” commented JPV coach Dan Padernal after the game. “Four games in two weeks is a bit tiring but thank you to my players for their effort even though we can’t finish in the top four.”
The League shall resume action this November 2. Global Cebu will look to extend the game between them and Stallion Laguna when Dan Palami’s side hosts Ernie Nierras’s men at 4:00 PM. Soon afterwards, Ceres Negros shall welcome Davao Aguilas at 7:00 PM at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.
The Finals Series is also stated to start on December 2.