The 2018 Philippines Football League has officially begun with four teams kicking off the opening weekend of the league’s second season.
JPV-Marikina breaks home ground with triumph over Global-Cebu
A much-awaited home debut for JPV-Marikina was finally on the cards after they prepared to host Global-Cebu and the adopted sons of Marikina got off to a dream start as they emerged 2-1 winners over last year’s finalists.
It only took 13 minutes for the home side to break down Global’s defense. Keigo Moriyasu found the back of the net on his debut, prompting celebrations from the home crowd.
Although it took a little while, JPV managed to cushion their advantage courtesy of another debutant’s effort. Ryuki Kozawa struck with 15 minutes left on the clock, perhaps doing enough to secure the win.
It was not without a scare from Global, however, as the visitors pulled one back late in the match. Dominic del Rosario opened his scoring account with a magnificent finish off a set piece. Unfortunately for him and his teammates, it did not lead to a comeback as JPV held on for full three points.
James Younghusband roars Davao Aguilas to stalemate with Kaya-Iloilo
On Sunday, Davao Aguilas entertained Kaya-Iloilo at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum. A clash between two loaded frontlines concluded in a 2-2 draw with Philippines international James Younghusband grabbing the headlines with his heroics.
“Exciting game, I think it was a good result, a good start, not only for Davao but for both teams. Unfortunately in the second half I think we deserved a third goal but Kaya was able to defend on that when we do our substitution to adjust the games. In the end I think, good start for us,” said Davao head coach Marlon Maro.
Before the former Chelsea academy player shined for his team, opponents Kaya enjoyed a slender halftime lead through Alfred Osei’s 18th minute opener. Ahead 1-0 at the break, Kaya doubled their advantage through ex-San Beda talisman Connor Tacagni just five minutes after the interval.
Not keen to lose their first match of the season, Younghusband stepped up for his team. He provided an instant reply to Tacagni’s goal just a minute after the away team went 2-0 up. Seven minutes later, the midfielder restored parity to collect his brace.
It set up an exhilarating final 30 minutes or so between the two sides. Yet at the end of the day, both teams settled for a point.
“The team has the talent. One important thing is I see the true character of my players. From 0-2 we were able to equalize in the second half. It’s a good sign to progress in our next matches,” he added.
Only one match is scheduled to take place this month and it will be held in Biñan, Laguna. Opening day victors JPV Marikina will look to build on their positive start by paying Stallion-Laguna a visit which will serve as the latter’s opening game of the season. Kickoff is slated on March 11 at 4pm.