Meralco Manila Hosts Ilocos United in Rizal

Photo from FC Meralco Manila

Meralco Manila Hosts Ilocos United in Rizal

Philippines Football League leaders FC Meralco Manila host Ilocos United FC in their second match today at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Sparks started the PFL with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Stallion Laguna FC to take the lead in the standings.

Meralco Manila’s James Younghusband saw the win as a step into the direction for the Sparks.

“(The win was) good for confidence,” said Younghusband. “It’s another challenge for us players that we can use in our upcoming games or go the other direction and get complacent. We need to keep on improving and keep on impressing.”

The Sparks skipper is also wary of what Ilocos are capable of especially with former Sparks John Kanayama, Anton del Rosario, and Graham Caygill in their squad.

“We cannot take any team lightly,” added Younghusband. “We’ll approach every team with the same respect and work.”

Challenging the Sparks are the league’s new blood, Ilocos United. The northern club impressed in their first match, a 1-1 draw against fellow newcomers, Davao Aguilas FC.

Led by Kanayama, Ilocos look to have a decent outcome against the captain’s former side.

“Pressure will be high (against Meralco),” said Kanayama. “We’ll do our best. We’re the new boys, but we can stand out against the bigger clubs.”

Ilocos coach Ian Gillan views the match as a chance for the entire squad to impress away from home. Ilocos has a mix of veterans and youngsters in their squad with del Rosario serving as a mentor to the young players.

“We started from nothing, but we continue building and building,” said Gillan. “This week we don’t want to be in the same position. Preparation has been quite good.”

Kick off is at 4:00 PM and the match will be shown live on PTV and on its YouTube streaming site. — CAL



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