Loyola Meralco Sparks, Kaya FC score contrasting wins to gain share of UFL lead

LOYOLA Meralco and Kaya FC posted contrasting victories against separate opponents on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to gain a share of the early lead in the United Football League.

The Sparks clawed back from two goals down to carve out a 3-2 win over Manila Jeepney, after Kaya breezed past Green Archers United, 2-0.

Loyola and Kaya scored their second straight wins and joined Stallion FC on top of the 10-team Division 1 standings with six points apiece.

Anthony Putrus-Schnell struck a brace in the second half, while Tahj Minniecon chipped in a goal for Loyola, which had to climb out of an early two-goal deficit no thanks to Kouassi N’gnan.

The midfielder from Ivory Coast had a hand in Jeepney’s two goals, first off the counterattack from the right side 13 minutes into the match, then assisted on former Sparks forward Jake Morallo’s goal in the 37th minute.

Then the stage was set for the Sparks’ amazing comeback.

Minniecon, an Australian who once played for the defending AFC Champions League titlists Western Sydney Wanderers, pulled a goal back for Loyola off a James Younghusband feed two minutes before first-half stoppage time.

Putrus-Schnell, an American midfielder, equalized with a strike off a corner in the 58th minute, before scoring the go-ahead goal just three minutes later from long range.

Kaya drew its goals from the returning Masa Omura nine minutes into the match and OJ Porteria right before first-half injury time as the Archers never threatened from there.

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