LOYOLA Meralco pounced on a late miscue by Global to force the defending champion to a 1-1 draw on Tuesday night in a battle of United Football League heavyweights at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Sparks star Phil Younghusband forged the deadlock after converting the penalty kick awarded to them after Global’s Carli de Murga tackled James Younghusband in the second half.
Despite the draw that halted their winning streak to seven games, the defending champions remained the best team in the league with 22 points, with the Sparks just two points behind.
“I thought we had more chances than they did, so based on that we’re slightly disappointed we didn’t win the game,” Phil Younghusband said. “But overall, a draw is not a bad result.”
“I think we showed even against Global, that we’re one of the best teams in the league,” added the national team standout who recently emerged as the best scorer in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup Group E Qualifiers.
Global, which had two new local reinforcements in Joshua Beloya and Ed Sacapaño, drew first blood early as Patrick Reichelt struck with a header just 17 minutes into the game of the evenly matched affair.
The defending champions, however, could only protect the lead until the 76th minute when De Murga was booked a yellow card after committing a foul on James Younghusband, whose younger brother took advantage of the penalty kick.
“I’m very disappointed with the performance in terms some of the decisions. But fair play, my players showed great character again to withstand all sorts of adversity,” Global coach Brian Reid said.
“It’s not a disaster. We’re still at the top,” the Scottish mentor added.