Roberts scores brace; Younghusband brothers get a goal each in entertaining draw, 2-2
It has been a tumultuous few days for Meralco Manila. Last week the Sparks suffered a 0-7 home trashing against Ceres Negros, and reports came in that their pillars James and Phil Younghusband were being sought out to join Davao Aguilas.
With so much happening around the players, question marks were raised as to how Manila would cope against Global Cebu last July 22, 4:00 PM at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. Come the end of the 90 minutes, Meralco drew 2-2 against Global, which enabled the former to reclaim the top spot in the standings.
“When we lose possession we don’t regroup immediately. That is our problem. We need to manage transition better,” lamented Meralco mentor Aris Caslib after the game.
James Younghusband opened the scoring in the 29th minute when he rebounded the ball into the net. The Sparks’ lead only lasted five minutes, however, as Darryl Roberts escaped from the Meralco defense to level the game.
After halftime, the referee adjudged Wesley dos Santos to have committed a foul on Tahj Minniecon in Global’s box. The Sparks were then awarded a penalty, which Phil Younghusband dispatched in the 54th minute.
Unfortunately for Manila, their defense failed to deal with Roberts once again. The Trinidad and Tobago native found space to shoot and he finished calmly to secure his brace after 60 minutes. The game ended 2-2 and both teams had to share the spoils.
Meralco initially returned to the summit of the league table with 24 points but were relegated to second in the standings after Kaya Makati’s win 24 hours later while while Global are fourth with 22 points.
Ceres-Negros downs Davao Aguilas in Panaad, 2-0
Ceres-Negros FC continued its upward curve this season with a 2-0 home win against Davao Aguilas in July 22’s 7:00 PM game.
Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic shared, “It was the hardest game that we had here at home so congrats to the opponent, they defended really good, (were) well organized. Also congrats to my players they insisted ninety minutes and they had patience. Its not easy to play when one team is defending with ten players in front of the goal, especially when they know how to defend and they defend very good.”
OJ Porteria drew first blood with a long-range effort in the 27th minute. Porteria’s goal emboldened the home side, and the Busmen should have added to their tally before the break if not for the post, which denied Azkals star Stephan Schrock twice, and a last-ditch clearance against Junior Munoz’s attempt.
In the second half, the home side finally got the two-goal cushion they needed to kill off the contest. After 57 minutes of action, Schrock finally got the goal his performance deserved when he eluded the Davao defenders to put the ball at the back of the net.
Ceres earned a routine 2-0 victory, and they are now at third place with 22 points, while Davao had to make do with their sixth loss this season as the Aguilas are stuck at seventh place with 5 points.
Late show lifts Stallion past JPV for second straight win, 2-1
After 11 consecutive games without a win, it’s fair to say that Stallion Laguna have finally touched down in the 2017 PFL season. Ernie Nierras’s men defeated JPV-Marikina 0-2 four days earlier for their first win, and repeated the trick last July 23 at Rizal Memorial with a 1-2 victory.
Takashi Odawara opened the scoring for Marikina in the 10th minute and the home side looked set to seal the one-goal win.
Unfortunately for the Dan Padernal-coached squad, things unraveled at the game’s final moments. Gabriele Mascazzini leveled the proceedings in the 87th minute, before Jhan-Jhan Meliza bagged the winning goal two minutes later, as JPV succumbed 1-2 to Stallion.
It was a sorry ending for Marikina, as they suffered their 6th loss of the season. JPV now sit at 5th place with 1 points, four behind fourth-placed Global. On the other hand, Stallion climb to 6th in the table with 10 points.
Mintah sends Kaya above Ilocos to top league, 2-1
Kaya Makati now sit on top of the standings after a 2-1 victory against Ilocos United last July 23 at the University of Makati field. Kaya had routed Ilocos 5-2 four days earlier the said game, but the away side showed much more resilience this time around.
Makati coach Noel Marcaida explained, “It was a tough game. It’s really difficult to play back-to-back games against the same team. This was the kind of match where we struggled to create opportunities. Ilocos really played well defensively. But I’m really happy for the Kaya players, they responded well after that goal scored by Ilocos.”
Robert Mendy scored for Kaya in 32nd minute after a good combination play between him and former Far Eastern University Tamaraw Eric Ben Giganto. The home side carried that 1-0 cushion at the break, and saw it disappear roughly 20 minutes into the second half.
A handball in the Kaya box by Jalsor Soriano forced the referee to award Ilocos a penalty, which John Kanayama converted in the 63rd minute. Nevertheless, Kaya prevailed 2-1, after Jordan Mintah converted Miguel Tanton’s corner in the 81st minute to give Makati the three points.
It was the eighth win of Kaya, and it allowed them to go top of the standings with 26 points, while Ilocos’ misery continues at eighth place with three points.
There will be no midweek fixtures for this week. On July 29, Davao will host Meralco, while Global welcome Ceres. Both games shall start simultaneously at 4:00 PM. The July 30 games shall also kick off at 4:00 PM. Ilocos host JPV, while Stallion look to win their third straight game vs Kaya.
Photo from KayaFC.com