With Air Force and Stallion not due to lock horns until Tuesday night, only four games were played over the weekend.
In Saturday’s first match, Nomads jumped to the top of the table, albeit only mustering a 1-1 draw against Navy. Toullec Loic managed to put his side ahead at the end of the first half, but Marlon Pinero leveled things to restore some pride for the Navy Men, who were hammered 6-0 by Stallion in their first outing.
The second game saw Global get its season off and running, bouncing back from its opening day loss by quite comfortably beating Pasargad 2-0. Goals in each half from Alex Obiang and Ahmed Hwedi, respectively, ensured last year’s runners-up kept within touching distance of the top of heap.
With Nomads failing to capitalize, the league summit was up for grabs on Sunday and three opening day winners had their eye on seizing the early season advantage.
Loyola Meralco Sparks seized the initiative in the first match of the day, dispatching a stubborn Army side 2-1, with an early goal from Mark Hartmann and a late clincher from James Younghusband ensuring Meliton Pelayo’s 30th minute equalizer was all for nothing. It’s the second time Loyola has eked out a victory after surviving a scare, and its determination has been rewarded with a seat at the top looking down at the rest.
Having watched Loyola do business, pressure was on Kaya to deliver against a determined Green Archers United outfit fresh from a very painful 3-2 defeat against the Sparks. Nothing could separate the two in the first period, but national player Lexton Moy put Kaya ahead early in the second half.
United, just like in the its first game, responded well to the adversity, and managed to equalize through Arvin Gaspe with only five minutes left. Thoughts of a draw were inevitable from there, but Moy didn’t give much time to ponder the repercussions of such a result, as he put his side ahead for the second time just a minute after. The result means Kaya jump to second, level on points (6) and goal difference (2) with Loyola, but just behind in the “Goals For” department, having only scored 3, two less than the Sparks.
The defeat is a bitter pill to swallow for Green Archers, who have asserted themselves very gallantly against two early title favorites. Despite the defeats, they will be buoyed by the knowledge that they are fully capable of mixing it up with the very best in the division.
The UFL action doesn’t relent during the week, with Tuesday night promising to be a spectacular spectacle, as wounded defending champs Air Force try to damper Stallion’s flying start to the season. The game will be played at the University of Makati at 7 p.m.