JPV Marikina players celebrate after scoring a goal against Global Cebu FC. (Photo courtesy of the Philippines Football League on Facebook)
Japanese midfielder Takashi Odawara struck twice as JPV Marikina edged Global Cebu, 2-1, last Sunday night to seize top spot in the Philippines Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Odawara scored in each half as JPV came away with a fifth straight victory to leapfrog past Meralco Manila on top with 18 points. The Sparks are in second with 17 points.
Global made a game out of it in the second half when Sekou Sylla pulled a goal back, but the former league champions couldnt complete the comeback and absorbed a second loss of the season.
“The boys worked really hard to get the win,” said JPV coach Dan Padernal. “We started well in the first half and got the goal we needed. Our captain scored two great goals and the defense held up. The players were really focused.”
Over at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City, Davao Aguilas and Ilocos United battled to a goalless draw despite both sides getting plenty of scoring chances.
Omar Khan and Dylan De Bruycker wasted opportunities in each half for Davao which lost steam after a strong start. Ilocos looked more likely to score in the second half when Andrew Pawiak rattled the crossbar and Angelo Marasigan forced a fine fingertip save from Davao goalkeeper Marko Trkulja.
It was the third straight draw for Davao which now has four points. The draw snapped a five game losing streak for Ilocos which only has two points from seven matches.
JPV took the lead in the 25th minute when Odawara headed home from a corner kick. The Japanese midfielder doubled the lead 10 minutes after the break beating the defense before slotting the ball home past Patrick Deyto.
Sylla pulled a goal back in the 69th minute which turned out to be a consolation strike for Global.
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