Speedy Sato spoils Phil’s comeback
NATIONAL team standout Daisuke Sato struck early as Global nipped Loyola Meralco, 1-0, to extend its unbeaten start to four matches in the 2016 United Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Filipino-Japanese leftback danced past a couple of defenders inside the box before beating Loyola goalkeeper Tommy Trigo from a tight angle in the 11th minute as Global consolidated its lead at the top with 12 points.
Playing its second match in three days, Global mustered enough energy to keep the Sparks at bay in the second half when Phil Younghusband entered the game in his first appearance since October.
“I can’t fault the players for their desire, heart and determination,” said Global coach Leigh Manson. “I was worried because not only were we playing a Loyola team that’s in good form, but we only had 24 hours to recover from the JP Voltes game. But it’s nice to continue the winning habit.”
Global goalkeeper Patrick Deyto sparkled with a string of saves in the second half, denying James Younghusband, Simon Greatwich and Alvaro Castiella clear scoring chances in the second half.
The Sparks looked doomed early on when Dennis Villanueva won a penalty after he was brought down by Greatwich inside the box just five minutes after Sato scored. But Global midfielder Ivan Petrovic sent his penalty wide, keeping the Sparks in the thick of the fight.
Phil Younghusband entered in the last 20 minutes, but the Azkals skipper who was sidelined by a knee injury struggled to make an impact, managing just a tamed effort that went straight to Deyto late in the match.
In other matches, Ceres-La Salle picked up its first win of the campaign with a 6-0 demolition of Manila Nomads, while MSA Agila and Pasargad battled to a 2-2 stalemate.
A hat trick from Nate Burkey fueled Ceres, which rested some of its starters who played in the AFC Cup last Tuesday.
Bienvenido Marañon, Orman Okuinaya and Marvin Angeles also found the back of the net for a Ceres side which did not have Patrick Reichelt, Manny Ott, Stephan Schrock and Adrian Gallardo in its 18-man gameday squad.
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