By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
LEAGUE-leading FC Meralco Manila treks back to the pitch today as it plays JPV Marikina FC in an “away” Philippines Football League match at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Set for 4 p.m., the Sparks (12-3-2 and 39 points), the designated visiting side despite calling the stadium its home as JPV’s home pitch is under rehabilitation, look to extend their current winning streak of four and build further separation between them and the chasing pack.
JPV, for its part, is out to stabilize its ship after hitting a rough patch that somehow negated its strong start to the first season of the newly formed national football league.
Meralco is coming off a 1-0 victory over Ilocos United FC just last Sunday.
While they played sans key players for varying reasons, the Sparks made sure to stay on top of things, getting steady contributions from other players to swing to their fourth straight win.
Curt Dizon scored the only goal of the match in stoppage time of the opening half while the rest of the team banded together to keep the Ilocos challenge at bay throughout the contest.
Despite the win, Meralco coach Aris Caslib still thought they could have played better, especially on the defensive end, and underscored the need for them to continue improving.
“Our defensive line stepped up but I was surprised by our [wasted] chances [against Ilocos]. We need to go back to the training pitch to work on our finishing,” he said.
JPV (7-2-6), for its part, enters the contest off a 2-2 draw last week with Kaya FC-Makati.
Takumi Uesato had JPV starting well but the team just could not take advantage of it to settle for the draw and the one point that went it.
The 2-2 draw for JPV halted for it the big momentum it built in the 5-2 victory it had over Global Cebu FC previously.