08 April 2013

Loyola, Stallion eye provisional lead in UFL

By Karlo Sacamos

LEAGUE heavyweights Stallion-Sta. Lucia and Loyola Meralco eye the provisional lead in the United Football League when they clash on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
The two clubs, proving to be Global’s biggest obstacles in its title defense, face off at 7:30 p.m.
Global sits atop the standings with 22 points from eight games, while Stallion is just a point behind in second and Loyola in third with 20. That means a win would put either team in the provisional lead. A draw would give Stallion a share of the lead, but Global has a game in hand.
The Stallions are coming off a 1-0 win against Nomads in a game that coach Ernie Nierras described as their “worst” game this season, while the Sparks settled for a 1-1 draw with Global in a match that they could’ve won had they converted their attempts.
Unable to take advantage of some of their set plays against Nomads, the Stallions contented themselves with a one-goal win made possible by a tough strike by Korean Lee Joo Young in the second half.
“Overall, we have to improve in the next game. We can’t play like this against Loyola,” said Nierras, whose team showed signs of rust due to a two-week layoff.
“We got to bring it up a notch,” Nierras added. “That’s why I don’t like those long holidays. It tends to relax players a little bit.”
Indeed, the reigning UFL Cup champions must step up their game against the Sparks, who came close to dealing Global its first loss in eight games before settling for a stalemate.
Phil Younghusband emerged the lone successful scorer against Global as the Sparks star converted a penalty kick that was partially deflected by goalkeeper Roland Sadia before going in.
Nomads tries to bounce back from its last loss as it collides with another struggling team in Green Archers United at 5:15 p.m.
Like Nomads, which was relegated to sixth place at the end of last week, the eighth-running Archers are fresh from a defeat, a 1-0 loss to Pachanga-Diliman last Saturday.
Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos

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