Meralco, Ceres look to get back on winning track in PFL action
ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 23, 2017 03:08 PM
Ceres Negros FC tries to get back in the win column when they take on Kaya Makati FC in Bacolod
MATCHES on SATURDAY, JUNE 24
4 p.m. - Meralco Manila vs Stallion Laguna (Rizal Memorial Stadium)
7 p.m. - Ceres Negros vs Kaya Makati (Panaad Stadium)
Pacesetter Meralco Manila and powerhouse Ceres Negros seek to return to winning ways when they host Stallion Laguna and Kaya Makati, respectively, on Saturday in the Philippines Football League.
The Sparks clash with a winless Stallion side at 4 p.m. at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, before the Busmen battle Kaya Makati at 7 p.m. at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
With 16 points from six matches, Meralco owns a one-point advantage over JPV Marikina at the top of the table. But the Sparks are in for a stern test against a desperate Stallion side that has picked up only two draws from its first six matches.
Stallion is coming off a goalless stalemate against Davao Aguilas at home last Sunday in Binan, while Meralco dropped points for the first time this season after the Sparks were held to a scoreless draw by Davao in Tagum City last Wednesday.
While the Sparks seem to have no trouble finding the back of the net this season, scoring has been a problem for Stallion. Coach Ernie Nierras’ men have yet to score since Matthew Nierras banged home a late equalizer in the 1-1 draw with Global last May 21.
The scoreless spell doomed Stallion in losses to JPV Marikina (0-4) and Kaya FC Makati (0-1) just before the international break early this month.
Sparks captain James Younghusband remains doubtful due to an ankle injury, but younger brother Phil seems to have found his scoring boots, finding the back of the net in the last two matches.
The Busmen are undergoing a rough patch after losing to JPV Marikina, 1-2, at Rizal Memorial Stadium last week as well as an early exit in the Singapore Cup last Tuesday when they bowed to Hougang United, 0-1, in an upset.
Still, the Bacolod side has plenty of firepower with Stephan Schrock, Omid Nazari, Bienvenido Maranon and Manny Ott expected to figure prominently in the match for coach Risto Vidakovic. The Busmen are also enjoying terrific support from the hometown crowd, which was treated to a 1-0 win over Global Cebu last June 3.
A win by Kaya will allow coach Noel Marcaida’s men to leapfrog past Global in the table. Both clubs have 10 points each, although Global has a superior goal difference.
Kaya will welcome Miguel Tanton back into the lineup, after sitting out the 0-2 loss to Meralco due to a suspension. But the Makati side will miss striker Jordan Mintah, who was sent off against the Sparks.