FC Meralco Manila struck twice in the second half as it exacted its revenge on Ceres Negros FC, 2-1, and extended its lead atop the table of the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Wednesday at the Panaad Parkand Stadium in Bacolod City.
Curt Dizon and captain Simon Greatwich netted for the Sparks, who avenged their 0-7 loss to the Yellow Busmen in their first meeting last month.
Leading club Meralco Manila nailed its third straight victory and 11th overall in 16 games for 36 points while inflicting Ceres Negros its first setback in front of a passionate home crowd.
For head coach Aris Caslib, the Sparks’ winning streak indicated their fine adjustment to the departure of former squad stalwarts Phil and JamesYounghusband.
“We’re doing it (adjustment) slowly but surely. We wanted to be assured in every step right now. Good thing is that everybody’s up to the challenge,” said Caslib.
Ceres suffered its third defeat and saw its four-game winning run end though the Negrenses remained on No. 4 with 25 points.
Following a goalless first half, Dizon fired off the scoring in the 53rd minute as the Meralco midfielder dribbled past defenders from the left flank then slammed the ball into the back of the net.
Greatwich gave the visitors a comfortable two-goal lead after converting a pass from Jinggoy Valmayor in the 73rd.
Super Herrera pulled one back for Ceres three minutes later but the capital club held on to its slim advantage down the stretch.
Meanwhile, Kaya FC-Makati and JPV Marikina FC shared the spoils with a 2-2 draw at the University of Makati Football Stadium.
Robert Lopez Mendy and Adam Reed scored for Kaya Makati while Takumi Uesato blasted a brace in the first half for JPV Marikina.
With the standoff, the Makati-based booters snatched the No. 3 spot from Global Cebu FC with 28 points and a lone goal advantage in goal difference.
The Marikeños settled for their second stalemate in the inaugural season as they stayed on No. 5 with 23 points.