Masaki Yanagawa propelled JPV Marikina FC back to the top four with a 1-0 upset of Kaya FC-Makati in the Philippines Football League (PFL) on Sunday evening at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Yanagawa buried the lone goal off a setpiece in the first half as JPV Marikina grabbed its eighth win in 18 matches to overtake idle Ceres Negros FC at No. 4 with 27 points.
“I was able to break through with a run. I thought I made a mistake but I got lucky and was able to score,” said the 30-year old Yanagawa.
“We really needed to win to reach the top four teams. I’m glad (that we won),” he added.
Kaya Makati, which won by forfeiture against JPV last week, absorbed its sixth defeat though it remained No. 2 with 32 points.
The Japanese center back Yanagawa outmuscled Jordan Mintah at the far post before slotting home the corner kick in the 34th minute – the eventual match-winner for the Dan Padernal-mentored club.
Kaya had numerous chances to equalize in the second half but the Makati booters were not able to convert en route to a six-game drought.
Earlier, Jhan Melliza displayed his scoring prowess as Stallion Laguna FC hammered out a 5-0 rout over a hapless Ilocos United FC at the Biñan Football Stadium.
Melliza blasted four goals while Fitch Arboleda drained the other one to give Stallion Laguna its sixth win in 19 games for 23 points.
With his double brace, Melliza joined JPV’s Takumi Uesato on the top of the league’s scoreboard with 12 goals.
Ilocos United remained winless in 18 matches as the rookies from Vigan languished in the cellar with only four points to show.