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Forza grounds Laos to register their first win

By Kevin Estrada

MANILA—After giving league leaders Global a huge scare following their gallant defensive stand, Forza finally won for the first time this season, subduing flat-footed Laos 3-0 in the first of the Saturday doubleheader at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Lionel Mekong, Aoki Hayato and Stephen Burda all found the back of the net for Forza boss Arvin Jay Soliman in a match filled with unpredictable weather to get their first points since they drew Green Archers United on Labor Day, as they also snapped their six-match losing streak also today.

The win also leapfrogged them to 9th in the table and overtake idle Agila on goal difference as they are both tied at four points apiece.

“Masaya na ako dahil nakuha na naming kung ano ang dapat na result, but we still have to work hard to meet our target, which is mapasama kami sa top 8,” the former Benilde booter quoted after the match.

With the setback, Laos were now dragged near the bottom of the pile at 11th as they lost back-to-back matches after taking their first win over still-winless Pasargad.

The tall Cameroonian forward came back from a long injury layoff to score the first two minutes after the hour mark, as he breaks away on a counter and chipped the ball past Laos netminder Felipe Tripulca.

Unpredictability played a huge mark in the match, as the hot and humid nature in the first half was suddenly turned to wet and wild at the restart as referee Linjun Talaver even temporarily called a halt to the proceedings in the 58th minute due to light thunderstorms.

Hayato then settled matters with a beautifully placed header of Yoshiharu Koizumi’s cross in the 84th minute and the former Navy standout put the finishing touches with a thunderous free kick four minutes later.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada