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Points, not goal difference, should settle second for McMenemy’s Sparks

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As Ceres-La Salle draws closer to claiming the United Football League title, five teams remain in the hunt for a respectable second-place finish. Three of those teams are primed to emerge as the bridesmaids with Loyola Meralco Sparks the latest party to the three-way tie on points. Sparks’ Head Coach Simon McMenemy reckons that his team must overtake Kaya and Global to end up to where they envision themselves to be.

They did it by slamming five goals, while conceding a couple of “silly” ones against Pachanga-Diliman FC last night. Not totally pleased with the outcome, McMenemy seeks to address his team’s stability on defense. “We’re getting punished for the situations that we’re creating ourselves,” he claimed.

Nevertheless, by overcoming an early 0-1 deficit and weathering a 2-2 tie before finally opening up the match, the Sparks still impressed their coach. “I think it was a comfortable performance. We looked professional throughout. It was an opportunity to give some guys playing time and they took it,” the head coach commented.

Aware that the goal difference landscape is against them, McMenemy wishes that it will all boil down on points accumulated inside the 18-game season. What the Scot would like to see is his team excelling in pivotal games remaining for all teams in contention. By pointing out that Kaya, Global, and even Stallion, have tougher matches than them, the mentor implies that winning all their games is a must. Kaya are still due to play Global and Stallion, while Global still have to face Kaya and Loyola. Stallion, who are three points behind the three teams, have yet to play Kaya and Ceres-La Salle. “It’s these games that are going to really sort it out,” the man at the helm suggested.

Refusing to get carried away, the mentor thinks that they should just take it one game at a time. Up next for them is Global. A win against them will further solidify their claim to second place. The big clash will happen on July 29 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. —LGT

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