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Sparks fizzle out

The Loyola Meralco Sparks saw their bid to secure a runner-up finish and a berth in the AFC Cup disappear after being held to a 2-all draw by Stallion in the penultimate day of the United Football League last Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Simon Greatwich scored all of Loyola’s two goals but he and the rest of the team failed to secure a third that would given them the victory.

Instead, the stalemate allowed deposed champion Ceres-La Salle to clinch second even if it loses to JP Voltes in their match being played at presstime.

Loyola ended the league season tied with Ceres at 41 points apiece, but the latter is assured of second on a superior quotient.

The league runner-up is given the second AFC Cup berth after Global completed a league and cup double this year.

Stallion finished the campaign in seventh with 31 points after splitting a point with Loyola.

Fitch Arboleda, boosted by his stint with the Philippine Azkals in the previous two friendlies, struck the opener for Stallion 50 seconds after the opening whistle.

Greatwich leveled the score shortly before halftime, but Ruben Doctora restored Stallion’s lead in the 53rd by breaking past the Loyola defense.

Greatwich netted for the second time 12 minutes later for the last goal of the contest as the Sparks were unable to struck the winner. (Jonas Terrado)