MANILA, Philippines – The league-leading Loyola Meralco Sparks absorbed its second draw in three games as Kaya held them to a scoreless affair while Pachanga – Diliman FC nipped Green Archers United, 1-nil in the United Football League, Tuesday, February 18, at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig City.
It was a double-whammy for the Sparks as their star striker Phil Younghusband – who came in as an 83rdminute substitute and played for only about ten minutes – was shown a red card and will miss their next match against Team Socceroo on Thursday.
Despite the scoreline, action was aplenty between the reigning UFL Cup titlists and the league’s current third placer as they took turns on attacking the net with Chris Greatwich’s penalty kick in the 74th finding the back of the net. The officials, however, scratched off the goal as the Azkals midfielder took the shot before the referee's whistle.
Loyola keeper Baba Sampana then came up with a big save on the retake as he stymied Greatwich’s spot kick to save the day for his squad.
With the clock ticking away and a scoreless draw looming, coach Vincent Santos then called in Younghusband less than ten minutes to go in regulation but the league’s leading scorer could not turn things around for Loyola as he received a yellow just four minutes into his night.
Younghusband, though, had the chance to come up with the winner in the 90th as he received a free kick from just outside the box but the prolific scorer can only find the post that kept Kaya in the game.
Loyola, despite the draw, remains on top of the table with 20 points (6-2-0) while Kaya and Global narrow their gap to the leaders with 16 points each.
The Sparks will return to action on February 22 against Team Socceroo while Kaya goes up against Global on February 27.
Burkey, hero of the day for Pachanga
Drawing motivation from a 1-2 loss to cellar-dwellers Pasargad on weekend, Pachanga – Diliman FC snapped out of a four-game losing skid as they edged Green Archers United, 1-0, in the day’s curtain raiser.
Nate Burkey once again shone for Pachanga as his 74th minute goal proved to be huge as they climbed back to the upper half of the table with nine points off a 3-0-5 record.
GAU played without Chieffy Caligdong after the Azkals winger fractured his right foot in their last outing against Global FC and is expected to be sidelined for four to six weeks.
Pachanga was on the backfoot for most of the match but they sneaked in the winning goal as Ariel Zerrudo issued a neat assist to Burkey who easily banked in the winner.
With the loss, the Green Archers drop to sixth with seven points to show from a 1-4-3 card.
GAU will have a tough next assignment in Global on February 22 while Pachanga will not see action until February 27 when they face the struggling Team Socceroo. -