FC Meralco Manila and JPV Marikina FC battled to a 1-1 draw in the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The two teams struck one goal apiece in the first half as they split the points in their third encounter of the season.
Leading club Meralco Manila added one marker to its double-digit advantage at the top of the table.
JPV Marikina, meanwhile, failed to re-enter the top four, as they remained No. 5 with 24 points, one marker behind Ceres Negros FC.
Sparks head coach Aris Caslib admitted that fatigue took its toll on his men after playing their third game in a week.
“We could have done better but fatigue became a factor in our performance,” said Caslib.
Voltes mentor Dan Padernal shared the same sentiment.
“We just fell short in the final minutes of the game. We had the opportunities to grab the three points but we were not able to convert them,” said Padernal.
Meralco struck the opening goal just 13 minutes into the game with defender Joaco Cañas heading home a corner kick.
Capitalizing on a poor clearance by Meralco, JPV equalized two minutes before the halftime as midfielder Alen Franco Angeles fired from the left side of the penalty box.
Both clubs had chances to break the deadlock in the second half but their goalkeepers Junjun Badelic (Meralco) and Nelson Gasic (JPV) executed huge saves to preserve the stalemate.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA