Loyola Meralco Sparks were handed their first defeat of the 2015 United Football League season after being beaten 2-1 by Stallion FC on Saturday evening.
The Sparks entered the game at the Rizal Memorial Stadium having won their opening three games of the campaign, and it initially looked as though they would be extending that streak when James Younghusband fired them ahead in the 19th minute.
However, Stallion pulled level in the 51st minute when Mario Clarino headed home a precise cross from Jordan Mintah and, nine minute after the hour mark, went on to claim maximum points after substitute Fitch Arboleda latched onto Ruben Doctora’s layoff and fired home what proved to be the winner.
Meanwhile, defending champions Global bounced back from Wednesday’s heavy 6-1 defeat to South China in the AFC Cup by cruising to a 5-0 win over struggling Philippine Army-GTI.
Leigh Manson’s charges broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when Renato Gonzalez opened the scoring, before Hikaru Minegishi doubled their lead five minutes later after racing through and chipping the ball over the onrushing Seo Seung-seok.
The contest was effectively over five minutes before the break when Satoshi Otomo somehow found the back of the net from a tight angle despite being under intense pressue, and a fourth goal arrived in the 64th minute when Rolf Schlettwein netted his first goal for the club.
And in the second minute of injury-time, the rout was completed when Mark Hartmann notched his fifth goal of the campaign with a lovely curling effort from outside the box to cap off a convincing win for Global.
In Saturday’s opening game, Manila Jeepney got off the mark with their first point of the season after coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Green Archers United.
It was the Archers who had taken the lead four minutes before the interval through a Jimuel Ariola effort, but Park Hyu-sun popped up with the equaliser in the 74th minute to earn his side a share of the spoils.
Saturday’s United Football League Results
Green Archers United 1-1 Manila Jeepney
Global 5-0 Philippine Army-GTI
Loyola Meralco Sparks 1-2 Stallion FC