A DETERMINED Loyola Meralco bucked the absence of its star striker for most of the match as it held Kaya FC to a 3-3 draw in a rivalry match that lived up to its billing on Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Despite going a man down early after the shock ejection of Phil Younghusband, the Sparks held on, leaning on Anthony Putrus-Schnell’s second-half goal to force the stalemate.
Both teams settled for a point each for a total of 19 to maintain their No. 4-5 spots in the standings, just behind Global FC on goal difference, at the end of the first round.
Younghusband, who struck the opening goal 13 minutes into the match, was assessed with two yellow cards in a span of just two minutes, the second in the 30th when the usually mild-mannered Azkals star engaged Kaya midfielder Miguel Tanton in excessive physical play.
Youngusband was trying to defend his brother, James, who Tanton apparently hit moments earlier.
That only fueled the Sparks as Lee Joo Young gave them the lead at 2-1 with a strike just two minutes later.
The Sparks’ man disadvantage started to show later as OJ Porteria knotted the count anew in the 35th minute, before assisting on Jovin Bedic’s goal in the 62nd minute to put Kaya on top.
Putrus-Schnell rescued the Sparks as the American defender converted lee’s feed in the 76th.
Louis Clark hit a goal in the 26th minute.
Pachanga-Diliman registered its second victory with a 4-1 decision of Philippine Army earlier to climb to seventh spot with seven points, while leaving the Troopers stuck at the bottom and still winless.