UFL: Archers nose out Sparks
MANILA, Philippines — Jess Melliza struck when it counted most as Green Archers United fought back from a goal down to stun leader Loyola Meralco, 2-1, for its third straight victory Saturday night in the United Football League at Emperador Stadium in Taguig City.
Getting on the end of a fine ball from Robert Mendy, the fleet-footed Melliza slotted the ball past Baba Sampana as Archers completed a stirring comeback that was aided by the dismissal of Loyola defender PJ Fadrigalan in the second half.
“This is our biggest win of the season,” said GAU coach Rodolfo Alicante. “Hopefully, we continue playing well.”
The win boosted Archers’ output to 16 points from 13 matches, good for fifth spot.
The Sparks stayed on top with 32 points, but Global, at 31 points, could supplant them with a win against Pachanga tomorrow. Later, Pachanga put Stallion’s title retention bid in jeopardy after holding the defending champions to a 1-1 stalemate.
Ariel Zerrudo scored in the first half for Pachanga only for Nathan Alquiros to equalize early in the second half as both teams settled for a point.
Stallion kept fourth spot with 22 points, while Pachanga has 12 points from 12 matches.
The Sparks seemed headed for a routine victory when Lee Joo-young fired an early second half goal off a Freddy Gonzalez pass, but the Archers turned the match around after Fadrigalan was sent off in the 66th minute following a scuffle with GAU skipper Tating Pasilan.
Mendy equalized after a terrific linkup play with Melliza in the 84th minute before turning provider for the Far Eastern U standout to smash home the winner.