Takashi Odawara blasted a brace as JPV Marikina FC turned back Global Cebu FC, 2-1, to snatch the top spot in the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The Japanese midfielder struck a goal in each half to power the Voltes past FC Meralco Manila atop the league table with 18 points.
“I have to get the goals as a team player. I’m really happy,” beamed Odawara, who hiked his goal tally to five, one goal behind the league’s top scorer and teammate Takumi Uesato.
Global Cebu suffered its second setback in six games though it remained No. 3 with 10 points.
The Cebuanos were not able to give their new head coach Akbar Nawas a warm welcome as he claimed in the post-match presser that “we have to organize ourselves better in terms of how we play.”
Odawara headed home the ball off a set piece in the 25th minute and doubled his tally with an easy tap-in in the 56th.
Sekou Sylla scored the lone goal for the Visayan powerhouse in the 69th as the Marikina-based booters scored a huge victory.
Earlier, Davao Aguilas FC and Ilocos United FC shared the spoils in a goalless draw at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City.
Ilocos United’s Angelo Marasigan created scoring chances for the visiting side but Davao goalkeeper Marko Trkulja tightly defended their home turf.
With their third straight draw, the Aguilas remained No. 6 with four points while the newcomers from Vigan were stuck at the cellar with two markers.
Meanwhile, Bienvenido Marañon fired a hat-trick to fuel Ceres Negros FC past Kaya FC-Makati, 3-1, on Saturday evening at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod City.
The No. 5 Busmen rode their second win in four games as they bounced back from a 1-2 loss to JPV while Kaya absorbed its third loss in seven games as it remained at No. 4 with 10 points.