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Marikina stuns Cebu

JPV-Marikina continued its sensational run of form by defeating another traditional powerhouse in Global-Cebu, 2-1, Sunday night to wrest the solo lead in the Philippines Football League at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Japanese midfielder Takashi Odawara scored two goals before JPV foiled a last ditch attempt by the home side to salvage a draw to secure its fifth straight win and overtake idle Meralco-Manila for the top spot in the eight-team league competition.

The club composed of Japanese expats and local standouts improved to 18 points in eight matches, one off Meralco with a game at hand.

It was the second time in the past seven days that JPV beat one of the country’s premier clubs, having dealt Ceres-Negros a similar result at the same pitch.

Global, which at midweek reached the quarterfinals of the Singapore Cup after defeating Geylang International on penalties, wasted a chance to gain ground on second place to remain tied for third with Kaya-Makati at 10 points each.

Odawara put JPV in front when he headed a corner kick in the 25th minute, before doubling the lead by tapping in a short cross in the 56th.

Substitute Sekou Sylla pulled one back for Global in the 69th but JPV tightened its defense until the final whistle to gain the maximum three points.

Earlier, Davao Aguilas and Ilocos United battled to a scoreless draw at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex in Tagum City, the second straight time this season that the neophyte clubs split a point.