BINAN—Meralco Manila leaned on a second-half goal from skipper James Younghusband to nip JPV Marikina, 1-0, for its third straight victory in the Philippines Football League at Binan Football Stadium.
Younghusband headed home a corner from younger brother, Phil, for the match-winner in the 64th minute that kept the Sparks at the top of the table with nine points from three matches.
JPV actually enjoyed plenty of possession, but the Marikina side couldn’t break down a well-drilled and disciplined Meralco defense. It was the second loss in three matches for JPV, which has three points on the strength of its 3-2 win over Davao last Sunday.
“I think the team showed heart to survive the match against a very strong JPV team,” said Sparks coach Aris Caslib, whose team earlier defeated Stallion (5-1) and Ilocos United (2-1). “This was our toughest game so far, and Im glad the players stood up to the challenge.”
Just three minutes after Tahj Minniecon forced a save from Nelson Gasic, Younghusband towered above everyone else to nod home the delivery from Phil for his second goal of the season.
Later, Kaya FC Makati secured its first victory after turning back Davao Aguilas, 2-0, in a game where both teams finished with 10 men at University of Makati.
Jordan Mintah opened the scoring in 16th minute with a close range strike, before Adam Reed converted from the spot to double the advantage just before halftime.
Davao captain Jason Cordova was sent off for a foul on Mintah inside the box, leading to the Reed penalty, but Kaya was also reduced to 10 men when Reed was given a straight red card for a challenge early in the second half.
The Aguilas saw Omar Khan and Dylan De Bruycker miss clear cut chances in the second half, dooming them to their second defeat in three matches. Davao only has a point to show from three matches.
“Davao Aguilas gave us a tough game, especially in the second half,” said Kaya coach Noel Marcaida.
“We gave them too much space they were able to play in the second half. But coming into this game all we wanted is the three points in whatever way we can get it.”