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Jason de Jong struck the winning goal late in the second half as the Loyola Meralco Sparks beat Green Archers United, 2-1, last Friday in the first-ever out-of-town match of the United Football League held in Zamboanga City.
The former Azkals mainstay delivered the go-ahead score in the 81st minute to help the Sparks climb to third place with 37 points, one behind defending champion Ceres-La Salle and two clear of JP Voltes.
Loyola and Green Archers played in the Western Mindanao city as part of the Football For Peace program which the Sparks have been a staunch supporter.
Kouichi Belgira gave Loyola the early lead two minutes after the first whistle before Chieffy Caligdong leveled the score for Green Archers in the 27th.
The win boosted Loyola’s bid to finish second in the league table, especially with Global expected to clinch the league title today against Laos at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Should Global win, it will secure a spot in the AFC Cup group stage, while the league runner-up gets to play in the playoff round since the former also claimed the UFL Cup trophy last April.
Global has 44 points in 17 matches, six ahead of Ceres and seven off Loyola. (Jonas Terrado)