Davao Aguilas and Stallion Laguna share spoils; battle for 3rd still up in air

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Davao Aguilas and Stallion Laguna end up in a 2-2 draw in what could be their pivotal battle for third place in the Philippines Football League this Wednesday afternoon, August 22, in Rizal Memorial Stadium.

As early as the fourth minute, Davao Aguilas opened the scoring with Jason De Jong scoring with a well driven attempt from outside the box.

Two minutes after, Fitch Arboleda unleashed an attempt to give Stallion the equaliser but it was too tame to trouble Davao’s keeper Patrick Deyto.

At the first quarter of an hour, a free-kick was awarded to Stallion but midfielder and designated taker, Carlo Polli’s attempt whizzed just over the bar.

Ten minutes before the half hour mark, a Stallion play was able to release Melliza forwards, but the speedy striker’s run was dealt with by Davao’s defence before any real danger materialised.

Come the half-hour mark both teams traded attacking plays and showed a positive approach to the game as Stallion Laguna continued to search for a leveller while Davao Aguilas pushed forth to increase their lead.

In the 36th minute another free-kick opportunity for Stallion arrived but Polli’s low curler was well anticipated by Deyto to parry the ball away to safety.

Less than five minutes before the half-time break, Jason De Jong came up with a threatening cross, but Tripulca was able to get his hands to the ball and avert any further danger.

Despite the search for another goal from both squads, the slim lead courtesy of De Jong was enough for Davao to nurse a slim lead heading into the dugout in preparation for the second 45 minutes.

Five minutes after the restart, Davao found themselves two-goals up as Matthew Hartmann was able to work his way well into Stallion Laguna’s territory to produce a dangerous cross that was put into the back of the net by Terrence Linatoc for an own goal.

But Stallion almost went close to immediately cutting the deficit back to one with a 52nd minute counter-attack, but Arboleda’s effort missed the target.

In the 62nd minute, Stallion Laguna would rue a chance that was given to them, as an almost perfect ball found Ruben Doctora; but his low shot that caught Deyto flat-footed somehow went wide of the far post.

Stallion eventually got a goal back in the 65th minute as Abou Sy was able to convert his header from a corner kick to mount a possible fight-back against Aguilas.

In no time the Binan-based squad found the equaliser as Ko Kyung-Joon was able to pick an unmarked Abou Sy who made sure of his shot to level things off and make it a game in the 67th minute.

With the momentum already on the side of Laguna, Davao’s turn to respond with a corner in the 69th minute but Wesley Dos Santos’ header was way off the mark.

The ensuing minutes went slightly in favour of Stallion as they were able to come up with more promising forays into Davao’s final third.

The Minadanaoans had a gilt-edged chance to get the lead though in the 79th minute as Tahj Minniecon was able to receive the ball in a promising area inside Stallion’s box but he opted to pass instead of unleash a shot. However, there was no one to receive the pass as Stallion were able to escape from that particular lapse from their end.

The remaining minutes have been tense as both squads tried to push for the winning goal but the efforts from both teams came to naught as the final whistle was blown with the scoreline locked at 2-2.

With the draw, Davao Aguilas’ third place finish now hangs in the air as Stallion Laguna still have a game in hand against Ceres Negros on the 25th of August.

Lineups

Davao Aguilas: Deyto (GK), Hartmann, McDonald, De Jong, P. Younghusband (C), Hall, Tull (De Bruycker 90+1′), Kim (Minniecon 59′), Gadia, Casambre, Dos Santos
Stallion Laguna: Tripulca (GK), Nierras, Linatoc, Alquiros, Doctora (C) (Villareal 70′), Melliza, Ko, Sy, Ishihara, Polli (Tuason 77′), Arboleda (Bugas 64′)


Meanwhile in an earlier non-bearing match, Kaya FC Iloilo defeated JPV Marikina, 3-1, in Carmona, Cavite to continue building up their momentum ahead of their Copa Paulino Alcantara campaign.

An early goal went in JPV Marikina’s favour as John Celiz found the back of the net in just the seventh minute of the proceedings.

Kaya eventually got their footing as the minutes unfolded with a few good chances to equalise only to fail to actually convert.

But the Iloilo outfit’s persistence paid off as Connor Tacagni found the leveller in the 31st minute and halftime arrived with nothing to separate both squads.

In the second half the parity was maintained for the most part until the league’s top-scorer came into the match in the 70th minute.

The Senegalese did not need too much time as he was able to get the go-ahead goal within seven minutes from his introduction.

His first strike would not be the end though as he was able to get his second goal from the penalty spot after being brought down in the area for his 18th conversion of the season in the 80th minute.

Mendy’s impact, in spite of his short involvement in the match, proved to be enough as Kaya was able to reverse the situation for a 3-1 win.


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