TAGUM CITY - JPV Marikina edged Davao Aguilas in a five-goal thriller last Sunday to climb to third in the Philippines Football League table at Davao del Norte Sports Complex.
Goals from Takashi Odawara, Boyet Canedo and Takumi Uesato proved enough to spoil the Aguilas’ home debut, witnessed by a league-record 4,300 spectators.
Dylan De Bruycker struck twice for the home side, including a stoppage time penalty that put the match on a knife-edge heading into the final seconds.
But Marikina hung on for three points that allowed them to gain third spot behind FC Meralco Manila and Global Cebu FC.
It took just two minutes for the visitors to open the scoring with Odawara firing from close range after good work from Kouichi Belgira on the left.
But the Aguilas levelled just six minutes later through De Bruycker, whose first time effort found the top corner and left JPV keeper Nelson Gasic rooted to his spot.
Omar Khan set up the 19-year-old for the opener beating his defender on the left before delivering the pass that De Bruycker tucked home.
Canedo restored the advantage for Marikina in the 20th minute, curling home a free kick from just outside the box.
Belgira should have made it 3-1 at the hour mark, but he scoffed his effort over the bar much to the relief of the home side.
Davao kept pressing for an equalizer and the Aguilas were almost rewarded by Brad McDonald, who forced a fine save from Gasic from 35 yards out at the stroke of halftime.
JPV wasted a couple of golden chances with Alen Angeles guilty of spurning a big opportunity in the 64th minute when he fired off target with only Marko Trkulja to beat.
The Aguilas thought they had tied the match in the 69th minute when Richard Talaroc poked the ball away from Gasic’s grasp and rolled it into the back of the net only for the referee to waive off the goal for a foul.
Uesato then gave the visitors the cushion they needed with a header off a corner in the 84th minute. Left unmarked, the Japanese headed a J Baguiro corner for a 3-1 advantage.
Uesato’s goal proved crucial as JPV conceded a penalty in stoppage time when Camelo Tacusalme brought down Mcdonald inside the box.
De Bruycker stepped up to convert from the spot for his third goal of the campaign, but it proved too little too late for the home side, which remained with a single point from two matches.