MANILA, Philippines- Loyola Meralco Sparks blanked the booters of Green Archers United FC, 1-0, to bring home another win in the United Football League held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Sunday, March 15.
Loyola played as the dominant force on the pitch during the first few minutes of the opening half leaving the Green Archers offense to rely on counter-attacks to make their presence felt in the match.
Meralco skipper James Younghusband broke the eerie deadlock of the action-packed match-up in the 23rd minute but his goal was disallowed as he was called for a handball infraction.
The frontline of the Sparks continued to pound on the defense of their foes on the field but Archer shot-stopper Paolo Pascual stood his post and punched away their attacks.
After several attempts on goal, Loyola finally caught the opener as J. Younghusband header found the back of the net to give his club a 1-0 lead in the 40th minute.
Green Archer United almost leveled the scoreline at 1-1 before the halftime break but Boyet Cañedo’s attempt off a free-kick sailed directly to Loyola keeper Tomas Trigo.
As play resumed for the final half, a refreshed offense for the side of the men of Rodolfo Alicante took the field as Robert Lopez Mendy sent a highlight reel bicycle kick in hopes of equalizing but Trigo foiled his attack.
The Sparks line-up was depleted to just 10 men in the 80th minute as Lee Joo Young was sent off after getting booked for the second time in the game.
The Green Archers scrambled in the final minutes to find the equalizer before final whistle but none of their blitzes connected until the end of regulation.
For the first game, Stallion FC escaped the wrath of Philippine Army FC with a late game surge following the final minute goals from Emmanuel Mbata and Jordan Mintah, 2-0.
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