Ceres-La Salle, Loyola Meralco stay 1-2 in Group A with close wins in UFL's FA League Cup

CERES-La Salle withstood a late rally to hack out a 3-2 win over Manila Jeepney at the Emperador Stadium on Tuesday and tighten its grip of the top spot in Group A of the United Football League Football Alliance League Cup.

Loyola Meralco stayed firmly behind Ceres in the seven-team standings as it climbed out of a deep two-goal first-half hole to stun Pachanga-Diliman, 3-2, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

In another Group A match at Rizal Memorial Stadium, fifth-running Green Archers United overcame a two-goal deficit to salvage a 3-3 draw against Stallion and keep its faint quarterfinal hopes alive.

The only one-sided match saw Socceroo whip Forza, 3-0, in Group B at Emperador.

Ceres, the reigning Division 2 champion, squandered an early two-goal lead but held on thanks to a second-half header by Jason Sabio off a corner in the 70th minute.

The Sparks fell two goals behind early in the second half no thanks to a brace by Jinggoy Valmayor, but engineered an amazing fightback that saw them turn the game around a minute before the final whistle sounded.

Phil Younghusband knotted the count at 2-2 with a stunning curling free kick a minute into stoppage time before Graham Caygill put the Sparks in front with a goal just a minute later.

The Archers also trailed by two goals, but came back and escaped with the stalemate after Robert Mendy converted a penalty three minutes before injury time.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos