MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Brit Mark Hartmann knocked in a goal in injury time as the Loyola Meralco Sparks repulsed a 10-man Pasargad FC side, 1-0, to wrest the solo lead in the First Division of the United Football League at the University of Makati field yesterday.
Unable to score in regulation and the final minute of extra time, the Sparks went to Hartmann, who took the rebound following several misses and scored the deciding goal that shoved the team to the solo lead with 22 points on seven wins and a draw against a lone loss.
It was Hartmann’s eighth goal of the season, the same output put in by Air Force Phoenix’s Ian Araneta behind Loyola teammate Phil Younghusband’s league-leading 12 goals.
The Sparks struggled in the absence of James Younghusband, who served out a one-game suspension for a red card in a 3-3 draw with the Airmen two weeks ago.
But Loyola also failed to cash in on the ouster of Pasargad’s Miki Ajah Emaka, who was slapped with two yellow cards on the 78th and 82nd minutes until Hartmann took over to deliver the winning goal.
Loyola thus dislodged erstwhile leader Global FC, which has 20 points. Pasargad took its sixth setback against a win and two draws to remain at ninth in the 10-team field.
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