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Stallion forces draw on leader Meralco

FC Meralco Manila dropped points for the second straight match after the Sparks were held to a 1-1 stalemate by a gritty Stallion Laguna side Saturday night in the Philippines Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Playing their third game in eight days, the Sparks ran out of steam after a strong start, allowing Stallion substitute Jess Melliza to equalize at the hour-mark for a second consecutive draw.

Meralco, which battled the Davao Aguilas to a 2-2 stalemate in Tagum City last Wednesday, remains on top of the table with 17 points from seven matches. A first victory remained elusive for Stallion, which has three points from six matches, although coach Ernie Nierras’ men finally ended a three-game scoreless spell.

“For us, it’s a setback,” said Sparks coach Aris Caslib, who missed James Younghusband (injury) and Simon Greatwich (suspension). “We were expecting young players to step up for this game, but the demands of the match were very high.”

Skipper Phil Younghusband gave the Sparks the lead from the penalty box in the 14th minute but Stallion tied the match in the 60th minute when Fitch Arboleda set up Melliza for the equalizer.

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