Coming into the past weekend, the 2017 Philippines Football League had at least a fixture each from October 21 to 23 to satisfy the cravings of local football fans.
Unfortunately two of the possible four games weren’t played due to various reasons.
Meralco earns 0-3 default away win at Ilocos’ expense
Before the game, Meralco Manila Football Club players knew that a win would give their club a ticket to the post-season dance.
What the Sparks, though, did not expect was that they would have achieved this feat without having to play a single minute of football.
Ilocos United forfeited its participation against Meralco last October 21 at the Quirino Stadium in Ilocos Sur due to the club’s failure to comply with the Franchise Agreement.
The result gave Meralco 48 points that were enough to seal a semi-finals seat as the Sparks have an unassailable cushion against current fifth-placed team JPV Marikina who have 28 points.
In stark contrast, Ilocos is at 8th place with seven points.
Maranon goal sees Ceres down Stallion in Laguna
Ceres-Negros Football Club maintained its push for entry in the Finals Series with a 1-0 away win against Stallion Laguna FC at the Binan Football Stadium last October 22.
Spanish Striker Bienvenido Maranon scored the only goal of the game when he converted Stephan Schrock’s free kick at the 28th minute.
Stallion, however, were not willing to surrender home ground so easily and perhaps should have saved a point, but Ceres goalie Mike Casas was on hand to deny Gabriele Mascazzini and Fitch Arboleda time and time again.
Come the second half, Ceres could have secured a more comfortable win when Omid Nazari unleashed a powerful shot only for it to be blocked away by the Stallion crossbar.
Ceres ended up 1-0 winners and the result allowed them to have 42 points and 2nd place in the standings. On the other hand, Stallion has 28 points at 6th place which still gives them a chance for the post-season.
Kaya blanks Global, moves one win away from Finals Series entry
A goal each from Jordan Mintah and substitute striker Eric Ben Giganto granted Kaya-Makati Football Club a 2-0 home win at the expense of Global Cebu at the University of Makati field last October 22.
Kaya mentor Noel Marcaida shared, “We’re very happy with the result. We were able to get maximum points against Global.”
Mintah drew first blood for Kaya as early as the 8th minute of the contest when he eluded his marker to striker past Global goalie Patrick Deyto.
Global sought to equalize quickly and a Paolo Salenga strike was parried away to safety by Kaya goalie Ref Cuaresma.
With a slender 1-0 lead after the restart, Kaya did all they can to get another goal which would secure the three valuable points. Giganto was the player who provided that as the former FEU Tamaraw rounded Deyto and directed the ball home at the 75th minute.
Makati prevailed 2-0 and are now just one win away from a post-season ticket as they now have 44 points in the standings and are at 2nd place. As for Global their place is not secure yet as they lie at 4th place with 37 points.
Marikina, Davao match abandoned
The last match of the weekend was supposed to be JPV hosting Davao Aguilas at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last October 23.
Sadly, the match had to be abandoned as the two ambulances needed as a precautionary measure failed to be stationed at the venue.
There is still no word as to when the fixture will be played.
There will be two midweek fixtures on October 25. Stallion will once again host Ceres in Binan where the former will be hoping for a win this time around while Davao shall welcome Kaya at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex. Both games will kickoff at 4:00 PM.