PFL: FC Meralco Manila aims to bounce back against Global Cebu

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 20, 2017 06:52 PM
FC Meralco Manila aims to bounce back against Global Cebu
“We want to make amends and bounce back. That score doesn't reflect who we are,” - Meralco team captain Phil Younghusband after 7-0 loss to Ceres Negros (Photo courtesy of FC Meralco Manila)

“We want to make amends and bounce back. That score doesn't reflect who we are,” said FC Meralco Manila captain James Younghusband when asked about the team's heavy 7-0 defeat to Ceres last Saturday.

The Sparks will have a great opportunity to ease the sting of that bitter defeat when they host Global Cebu on Saturday July 22 in Rizal Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is at 4:00 pm. Tickets are priced at P20 for bleachers seats and P50 for grandstand and are available at the gate.

With Kaya's 5-2 win over Ilocos on Wednesday, Makati are the new league-leaders on 23 points. Manila is now second, also with 23 points, but Makati has an edge on goal difference. However the Sparks have two games in hand. Global are in third spot on 21 points. The winner on Saturday thus takes pole position in the Philippines Football League.

“I think of Global as a fast, counterattacking team, similar to us. It will be interesting,” said Meralco wide man Tyler Matas, who is playing the Cebuano side for the first time.

Manila coach Aris Caslib has a similar view of Akbar Nawas' side.

“They are a team of transitions (from offense to defense and back). They use their pace well as a unit. We will need to manage the transitions well.”

Defender Joaco Cañas, a veteran of many battles with Global, also expects a bruising contest.

“They are a tough opponent and they never make it easy for you. It will be a physical game.”

Cañas played on fresh stitches on his shin against Ceres but he says he feels great now and is ready to battle versus Global.

No doubt Meralco will be keen on sending a message to the league that they are still the team to watch out for.

“We need to prove something as a club,” continues James Younghusband.

“Global are the same level as Ceres since both are in the AFC Cup. We want to show that the last game was a one-off (aberration).”

Manila will have one player suspended for this clash, winger Alvin Sarmiento, who is out on accumulated yellows.

Global will also be in search of momentum after being held to a goalless stalemate at home to winless Davao last weekend.

But the focus will be on the Sparks and their quest to return to winning ways. Caslib puts it best.

“People with a string rebound mentality are the ones who succeed in life.”

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