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Manila Digger chalks 1st PFL win, escapes Army 3-2

Photo from PFL

by Drew Malihan

MANILA - Philippines Football League (PFL) debutants Manila Digger etch their first win in the professional league as they spoil Philippine Army FC's return to the top-flight, 3-2, inside the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The men in yellow punched the first goal of the 2024 season as Earl Jappeth Piñero scored a left-footed shot in the 21st minute, thanks to an assist from former Mendiola stalwart Ashley Flores.

Former Kaya forward Eric Giganto delivered for Digger 17 minutes later as he slotted the ball past the Army's defense with an assist from Piñero.

The Army XI answered quickly, as John Robert Solen scored a goal a minute later to put them back at 2-1 to end the first half.

Anthony Ryan Decena worked on the ball in the 50th minute, passing through forward John Celiz who found the back of the net and put them on level with Digger, 2-2

The stalemate didn't last long as Japanese midfielder Daiki Jahana scored in his PFL debut in the 62nd minute off from a pass from Gambian winger Salifu Jatta.

Digger never looked back to get their first win, while Army suffered the first red card of the season as they were reduced to 10 men with forward Jimuel Ariola getting two yellow cards, the latter one in the 87th minute.

The Lerche Njang-led squad will next meet a familiar face in Maharlika Taguig on April 14 to look for their second win, while the Army will hope for an upset win against fellow league returnee United City on the same day.

Follow him on X: @drew_corner

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