JPV Marikina zooms to lead
A brace from Japanese midfielder Takashi Odawara propelled JPV Marikina to a 2-1 win over Global Cebu and the lead in the Philippines Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium on Sunday night.
Odawara scored in each half as the Marikina side secured a fifth straight victory to vault past Meralco Manila on top with 18 points. The Sparks who were held to a 1-1 draw by Stallion Laguna also on Sunday dropped to second with 17 points.
The victory avenged a 1-2 loss by JPV to Global during the opening weekend last May 7 in Biñan, Laguna.
As expected, JPV was content to soak up the pressure and defend early before hitting Global with a haymaker in the form of Odawara’s header off a corner in the 25th minute.
The Japanese skipper doubled the lead 10 minutes after the break beating a static Global defense before slotting the ball home past Patrick Deyto.
Global made a game out of it in the second half when Sekou Sylla pulled a goal back in the 69th minute, but the former league champions couldn’t carve open a resolute JPV defense in the final 20 minutes.
Global’s second loss of the season also ruined new Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas’ domestic debut for the club.
“The boys worked really hard to get the win,” said JPV coach Dan Padernal.
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