Loyola Meralco Sparks FC relied on a late game surge to escape Forza FC, 5-1, in the second round of the United Football League at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila on Saturday.
The Sparks, currently No.3, was down by a goal at halftime before its engine revved up in the second half.
Ninth seeds Forza were quick to start the match with aggression as Arvin Gaspe found the unmarked Lionel Ndoe Mekong inside the box to score at the 23rd minute.
Loyola feverishly attempted to retaliate with consecutive attempts by Phil Younghusband but without success until halftime.
As play resumed for the second half, the game took a turn in favor of the Sparks with its Spanish forward Alvaro Castiella charging deep inside the territory of their foes to notch a goal in the 53rd minute.
It did not take long before Younghusband posted two consecutive strikes in the 55th and 58th minutes to give his club a 3-1 advantage.
Filipino-Japanese fullback Kou Ichi Belgira also contributed to the resounding win with a goal in the 73rd minute.
Loyola’s offense did not relent until the dying minutes of the contest Jinggoy Valmayor, who substituted for Phil Younghusband in the 80th minute, scored a shot in stoppage time.
Loyola now holds a record of nine wins and three losses while Forza has eighth losses, three victories and a draw.
The Sparks will challenge 2013 UFL champions Stallion FC on Augusr 13 while Forza will take on Kaya FC on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Louis Clark’s lone strike in the penalty spot propelled Kaya FC to a 1-0 win over JP Voltes FC.
The men in yellow had their revenge against JP Voltes that beat them 1-3 on July 2.
Kaya is now No. 5 with eight wins and four losses while JP Voltes is No.4 with eight wins, a draw and three losses.