|Simon Greatwich and Meralco Manila busted another run, this time the 11-match unbeaten home streak of Ceres Negros in all competitions (Bob Guerrero/FC Meralco Manila)|
By Kevin Estrada
MANILA -- There is no such thing as forever, even in sports.
That's what league-leading, streak-busting Meralco Manila told a shorthanded Ceres Negros about their unbeaten home record when the Sparks became the first team all season long to get not just one, but all three points in Bacolod in one of the PFL's midweek tripleheader on Wednesday night.
Taking advantage of the absence of Manny Ott (suspension due to cards) and Stephan Schrock (family matters), the capital club of gaffer Aris Caslib scored an improbable 2-1 win that made them the first club in all competitions since South China last year to escape Panaad with a win, ending the Busmen's record-setting 11 match unbeaten run at home in both the PFL and the AFC Cup this season.
With the shocker, Manila not just extended their lead in the table with 36 points, eight more than Kaya Makati and Global Cebu and 11 above their victims, but more importantly got their huge revenge on Negros who pummeled them for seven unanswered in Rizal last month.
Curt Dizon shocked the City of Smiles when he put Manila in front, almost a Route One style in the 53rd minute, when Florencio Badelic's goal kick was headed by Connor Tacagni towards to the direction of the centre-forward, who sprinted past three defenders and finished with a left-footed rebound past Roland Muller after Super Herrera initially charged down his cross to Jake Morallo.
Twenty minutes later, San Carlos native Jinggoy Valmayor came on for Tacagni and made an instant impact as he had a huge part in doubling the Sparks' lead when he picked out Simon Greatwich from outside of the box and the captain fired a stunning curler that left the former Azkals netminder no chance.
The Spanish centre-half made the match interesting, pulling one back off a header in the 76th minute to halve the deficit, but they could not find an equalizer to avoid their first home defeat since May 24, 2016.
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