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Laguna stays alive for third after thrilling draw at Davao

Jason De Jong and Ruben Doctora tussle with the ball in their 2-2 draw. Mark Cristino/PFL
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- Stallion Laguna came from two goals down to frustrate Davao Aguilas in their final home match on Wednesday night with a 2-2 stalemate at the Rizal Memorial.

Ernest Nierras' herd quickly recovered from their two-goal deficit to share the spoils, and more importantly, staying alive to dispatch the home side off the final podium place in the PFL table.

Jason De Jong's stellar work was quickly negated by Abou Sy as the home side ended the season with 39 points.

But the visitors have the edge as they get another crack at third when they travel away at champions Ceres Negros, knowing that they only needed a point to secure their highest finish since  they won the double five years ago.

It took just four minutes for the home side to hit the front, and in some style after De Jong smashed the Laguna clearance back into Jhun Tripulca's net.

Since then, Laguna threatened several times to equalize but Patrick Deyto made himself big, highlighted by his double denial of Matthew Nierras and Fitch Arboleda just before the half-hour mark.

The Stallions dug themselves into a deeper hole five minutes into the second half, where De Jong's work into the box was enough for Terence Linatoc to put the ball into his own net.

But the Senegalese had awoken from their misfirings on the attacking front by bagging the quickest brace in their season just after the hour mark.

Abou first pulled one back in the 65th minute on a header from a Carlo Polli header, and then followed it up two minutes later on a quick counter with his right foot.

Davao: Deyto (GK), Hartmann, McDonald, De Jong, Phil YH (C), Hall, Tull (De Bruycker 90'), Kim (Minniecon 58'), Gadia, Casambre, Wesley
unused: Bayan (GK), Salenga, Cubon, Ian Clarino, Otomo

Laguna: Tripulca (GK), Nierras, Linatoc, Alquiros, Doctora (C) (Villareal 70'), Melliza, Ko, Sy, Ishihara, Polli (Tuason 76'), Arboleda (Bugas 64')
unused: Pepito (GK), Amistoso, Regala, Gino Clarino

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada