After its winning streak has snapped, FC Meralco Manila tries to return to the winning column when it battles Stallion Laguna FC for the second time in the Philippines Football League (PFL) today at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Meralco Manila and Stallion Laguna clash at 4 p.m. on what turns out to be a special match for the Manila side as it coincides with the 446th Manila Day.
The first meeting of the two former United Football League champions witnessed the Manila side thrashing the Laguna-based club, 5-1, on the first match day at the Biñan Football Stadium.
The Sparks are still sitting atop the leaderboard despite surrendering a 2-2 draw to Davao Aguilas FC on Wednesday at the packed Davao del Norte Sports Complex.
Meralco were two goals ahead just 12 minutes passed the kickoff with goals from Tahj Minniecon and Phil Younghusband but the Aguilas clawed their way back as Milos Krstic and Dylan de Bruycker found the back of the net in opposite halves.
With their first stalemate in six games, the league-leading booters from Manila are ahead of their closest contender JPV Marikina FC with just a solitary point.
Stallion settled to a 0-0 draw after a clash with the lone club from Mindanao at the Biñan football pitch on Sunday.
The squad from South Luzon looks to take advantage on the absence of Connor Tacagni, who dislocated his left shoulder, and James Younghusband, who is still recovering from an ankle injury he got during a friendly against China last June 7.
In the other fixture of the day, Ceres Negros FC collides with Kaya FC-Makati at 7 p.m. at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
The Negrenses seek to bounce back from two consecutive losses —to JPV Marikina, 1-2, in PFL and Hougang United FC, 0-1, in the RHB Singapore Cup.
Kaya also aims to rebound from its 0-2 setback to Meralco in last week’s Metro Manila derby at the University of Makati Football Stadium, wherein the Makati booters were cut down to ten for the fourth time.
Ceres and Kaya shared the spoils in their first encounter following a 1-1 standoff in the season-opening game at the University of Makati field.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA