PFL: Younghusband on target as Davao deny Ceres

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

James Younghusband scored his first goal for Davao Aguilas to help them hold Ceres-Negros to a 1-1 draw in the Philippines Football League on Wednesday.

The deadlock was broken at the Davao del Norte Sports Complex three minutes before the half-hour mark, when Younghusband opened his Davao account following his mid-season move from Meralco Manila.

A dangerous freekick swung in from the right by brother Phil Younghusband was nodded on into the six-yard box, where the lurking James was on hand to poke home from close range.

As the game wore on, both teams showed plenty of initiative in their bid to add to the scoreline.

Despite coming up against the AFC Cup’s inaugural ASEAN champions, Davao displayed plenty of fight and had chances to double their lead in coach Marlon Maro’s first game in charge since replacing Gary Phillips.

Nonetheless, it was always going to be difficult to keep a team like Ceres now, given the amount of quality they boasted.

And, in the 73rd minute, they forced the draw when Davao gave away possession cheaply outside their own area.

The ball was eventually worked to Stephan Schrock, whose floated a perfectly-weighted cross onto the head of Fernando Rodriguez for the Spaniard to nod into the back of the net.

Despite salvaging a share of the spoils, Ceres will be disappointed as they failed to make up more ground of leaders Meralco.

At present, the fourth-placed Busmen are lagging behind by 12 points but still have five games in hand.

Meanwhile, although Aguilas continue to search for their first win after 16 games, they have once again shown they have what it takes to match it with the competition’s heavyweights, especially following their mid-season reinforcements.

There was initially meant to be a second game between Global Cebu and Stallion Laguna at the Rizal Memorial Stadium although it was called off and will be played at a later date.