Although Kaya FC players publicly expressed their pleasure at watching Loyola Meralco create history for Philippine football in Singapore, they handed the Sparks no favors on Saturday when they retuned to the top of the Division One standings with a 2-1 win over Nomads Auction Manila.
This result came shortly after a feisty Armed Forces derby which resulted in a 3-2 win for Philippine Army Fritz & Macziol over Philippine Navy Redjuice. With only four games remaining in its season, the defeat just about ensures Navy will be plying its trade in Division Two next season.
Unlikely to join them in the lower tier is Philippine Air Force Phoenix, but its disastrous run this season continued on Sunday after losing their sixth game of the campaign. Many thought the defending champions would struggle against much strengthened opposition this year, but no one could have expected that they would be sitting three places from bottom, only nine points clear of relegation.
On paper, Pasargad seemed like the perfect opponent for Air Force to turn around a run of four games without a win, but goals in the first half from Milad Behgandom and Jay Torres quickly shattered those perceptions. Air Force isn’t the type to roll over for opponents though, and talisman Yanti Barsales would launch a staunch comeback after the break, equalizing the game with two quick goals on the 63rd and 67th minute.
The fightback was impressive, but it ultimately fell short. In the 84th minute, Mohammed Ohadi, just as he had done last week, popped up to score the winner in dramatic fashion. The victory means Pasargad returns to fifth in the standings, taking full advantage of Nomads’ slip up.
The final clash of the day saw Stallion Giligan’s snap a two-game losing streak, but the match certainly didn’t start in the ideal manner. With only 16 minutes gone, the prolific Tating Pasilan found the back of the net, his tenth of the season,
to give Green Archers Globe the early lead.
Ernie Nierras’ side wouldn’t take long to respond though, and they were level four minutes later through Ruben Doctora. The captain struck again five minutes before half-time to complete the comeback, and from then on Stallion never looked back. Goals from Jovanie Simpron and Jomar Lestingio after the break wrapped up the 4-1 win, which just about ensures the newly-promoted side will finish fourth this year.
None of the top four teams will be in action next weekend, but there are certainly some interesting match-ups to look out for. Pasargad remains the only club to have lost to Navy, and an opportunity for revenge will present itself on Saturday. On the same day, Green Archers will also have past results in mind, as it faces Nomads almost two months after its 2-1 defeat.
Josue Jamlang covers football for InterAKTV and announces matches for AKTV on IBC. He served as an assistant technical director for the UFL during its maiden season. Follow him on Twitter for more football discussion.
» Stallion breaks through tough Pachanga Diliman, stays in ahead in UFL title race
» Stallion, Global look to keep hold on top of UFL table against Pachaga Diliman, Air Force
» UFL contender Loyola suffers huge blow to title bid after draw with Nomads