Sparks torch Green Archers in Zambo encounter

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Loyola Meralco Sparks FC winger Kou Ichi Belgira (right) defends the ball in their previous match against leading team Global FC in the second round of the United Football League. UFL MEDIA PHOTO

Loyola Meralco Sparks FC winger Kou Ichi Belgira (right) defends the ball in their previous match against leading team Global FC in the second round of the United Football League. UFL MEDIA PHOTO

Loyola Meralco Sparks FC defeated Green Archers United FC, 2-1, in an out-of-town game of the United Football League (UFL) in Zamboanga City on Friday.

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The game, which was the first provincial match of the UFL, is part of the Football For Peace initiative of the Meralco Sparks and the Philippine Marine Corps.

Loyola was off to a hot start as winger Kou Ichi Belgira exploited a gap in the Green Archers’ defense in the second minute.

Meralco conceded a penalty kick in the 27th minute that Green Archers United skipper Chieffy Caligdong later sank.

With a stalemate at the halftime break, Loyola and Green Archers engaged in a close battle as action resumed with the former having a slight edge on offense.

The rally of the Sparks finally paid off in the dying minutes with a goal courtesy of ex-Azkals midfielder Jason De Jong in the 81st minute.

Loyola improved their record to 12 wins; a draw and four losses for 37 points and the No.2 spot while the Green Archers absorbed their eighth loss against six victories and three draws.

Meanwhile, leading team Global FC is scheduled to battle the cellar-dwelling Laos FC in a lone 3 p.m. match today at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Global, after ruling the season-opening UFL Cup, is just a point away from clinching a rare season double.

The club, under the patronage of Dan Palami, currently holds a record of 14 wins, two draws and a defeat for 44 points.

On the other hand, Laos, who is still reeling from their 0-8 loss to defending champions Ceres La Salle FC, holds a 2-1-14 win-draw-loss record.

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