FOR Stallion- Lucia FC, the best way to unlock the defense of Philippine Army was through goalkeeper Ed Sacapaño.
The Stallions’ preparation against the vastly-improved goalkeeper bore fruit as they turned back the Troopers, 2-1, to gain a share of the lead in the United Football League Thursday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Lee Joo Young and Joaco Cañas found the back of the net in a strong first half for the reigning UFL Cup champions, who remained unbeaten in three games to tie Global FC and Loyola Meralco on top.
The Sparks, though, have the lead on goal difference.
“We had a specific objective of how to play Ed because he’s improved a lot,” Stallions coach Ernie Nierras said. “I think the first two goals we were able to execute but after that, not anymore.
“You have to give credit to Army. They really gave us a hard time.”
The Stallions executed their game plan to perfection at least in the first half, as Young struck just six minutes into the game before the Spanish Cañas doubled the lead in the 37th minute.
“The set pieces work,” the Spanish defender said. “We always work on it in training and it was a nice pass from Jason de Jong and I was lucky to make it.”
A more physical Troopers side showed up in the second half and was rewarded with a goal just four minutes after the restart, but failed to sustain the momentum after they went down to 10 men when Roel Gener was sent off with a red card in the 55th minute.
As a result, the Troopers dropped their second straight game.