A late equalizer from James Younghusband gave Loyola Meralco Sparks FC the hard earned draw against Kaya FC in the highly anticipated UFL fixture at the University of Makati Saturday afternoon.
Both teams began the afternoon on equal points along with Global FC but Loyola Meralco was situated at top of the table having a superior goal difference.
Nate Burkey gave Kaya the go ahead goal in the 22nd minute, latching home his long range shot past Loyola Meralco's goalkeeper Gabriel Vorbeck.
Falling 1-0 behind, Loyola Meralco continued it's attack with chances from James Younghusband and Andres Gonzales in vain as Saba Garmaroudi denied each chance on goal.
Kaya almost made it 2-0 after Adrien Semblat was able to poke Jonahan Romero's low shot past the Loyola Meralco defense however, Semblat was ruled offside prior to the shot on goal and the score stood 1-0 in favor of Kaya heading in to half-time.
After the restart, Phil Younghuband restored parity in the match in the 48th minute after Jake Morallo found Phil following a Loyola Meralco counter-attack, with a chipped ball to the back of the net after Garmaroudi committed to the on rushing Phil.
With the equalizer, Loyola became more composed with another chance from the Younghusband brothers after Mark Hartmann found a rushing Phil whose shot was saved and the rebound by James was also denied by Garmaroudi.
Kaya retook the lead once again in the 62nd minute when Burkey's headed pass from Romero's cross found Lexton Moy open to put the ball past Vorbeck once again, and almost affirm the victory.
Needing a goal to snatch a point against their rivals, Loyola Meralco finally found the breakthrough at the death after Kim Hyo Il's late free-kick near the penalty area found James Younghusband open to score the equalizer with a header to deny Kaya the win and share the points between the two sides.
The match also marked the return of skipper Aly Borromeo in the 71st minute replacing Kross Ubiam to the delight of the fans after Borromeo was sidelined with an ACL injury last October.
The result allows the two teams to share the spoils, with Global FC having the chance to retake the top of the table as they face Green Archers Globe today.
Kaya will have their hands full as they face Global on Wednesday while Loyola Meralco will have a bye this coming weekend as they will be participating in the Singapore Cup facing 2009 champions Geylang United FC on Friday.