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Cebu tightens up PFL title race with huge win vs. Maharlika Manila

By Ivan Saldajeno

CARMONA—Dynamic Herb Cebu inched closer to idle Kaya-Iloilo in the PFL table after scoring a crucial 2-0 win against Maharlika Manila in a Wednesday night action at the PFF National Training Centre here.

Cebu once again survived a tough grind, but this time, the club prevailed by more than one goal that could somehow give them a little boost if they have to deal with the goal difference tiebreaker in the end.

Rintaro Hama, the hero in Cebu's Saturday night clash against Mendiola, scored the opening goal for his team in the fourth minute with a beautiful header from a tough angle.

Mert Altinoz had an early chance to extend the lead as he was designated to take a 17th-minute penalty, but Vinci Valdez correctly predicted where Altinoz would strike the ball in and saved it.

Still, Maharlika Manila had to defend against Cebu's ferocious attacks later in the contest, but Daniel Gadia breached the backline with his long-range effort in the 81st minute for the final tally.

Cebu is now on 40 points after 17 matches, just two behind Kaya Iloilo for the top spot as the former had already played all its matches at hand and is now on equal footing with the latter in terms of games already played.

Maharlika Manila failed to once again overtake Mendiola and remains at the bottom of the standings with four points to show.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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