by Jonas Terrado
Tahj Minniecon scored two goals, including the winner late in the second half as Meralco-Manila edged fierce rival Kaya-Makati, 2-1, Saturday night to regain the solo lead in the Philippines Football League at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Minniecon brought home the go-ahead score off a spot kick seven minutes before stoppage time, allowing the Sparks to win the for the first time since the shock departure of brothers Phil and James Younghusband for the Davao Aguilas.
Meralco improved to 30 points after 14 matches, two clear of Global-Cebu – a 2-1 winner over Ilocos United at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Spanish striker Rufo Sanchez, returning after a four-year absence, and Fil-Japanese midfielder Pika Minegishi scored in the 63rd and 67th to help Global sneak out a win after conceding an early goal by Ilocos’ Charlie Beaton.
It was the second straight 2-1 win by Global after defeating Meralco at midweek in Manila while overtaking Kaya for second place in the eight-team table.
Kaya fell to third with still 27 points. Its danger man Jordan Mintah cancelled Minniecon’s opener when he scored after hitting Meralco’s Milan Nikolic, 10 minutes from time.