|Henri Fong can only look up to the ball as Jon Nebreja follows up on an Aaron Altiche miss to put Mendiola up over Maharlika Manila. PFL|
MANILA--Mendiola finally entered the win column in this year's PFL bubble season after ending Maharlika Manila's campaign on a sour note through a 2-0 blanking on Monday night at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona.
Jon Nebreja's opening goal set the tone for this match, but it took a late goal from Ash Flores for Mendiola to finally put away Maharlika Manila in the newest incarnation of the "Capital Derby".
Nebreja scored the opener in the 25th minute after rebounding on Aaron Altiche's initial attempt that hit the crossbar.
Despite getting the better attacking rate, Mendiola struggled in upping its lead over Maharlika Manila.
Flores finally sealed the win for Mendiola with a 90th minute goal.
The win put Mendiola to fourth place with four points, dropping Maharlika Manila momentarily to fifth place with three points to finish the season.
However, Stallion Laguna has a chance to steal fourth place away from Mendiola on goal difference if they beat them on Thursday night by four goals or more.
Although the Azkals Development Team will finish the season with a better ranking than either Mendiola or Stallion Laguna, the ADT's guest team status makes the national team pool ineligible to compete in an Asian Football Confederation club tournament, making the fourth place a valuable one.
The fourth placer will be a standby team in the AFC Cup if Kaya Iloilo, which is heading to next year's AFC Champions League Qualifying Stage, successfully joins United City in the group stages.
The aforementioned clubs will clash in the main game of the Monday triple-header in a battle to decide which of them will leave the bubble "invincible".
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