ERCO Bro FC had a late second half surge to beat Rising Sun, 3-1, for the leadership of Group B in the Men’s Open division of the 18th Aboitiz Football Cup yesterday at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) football pitch.

Rising Sun took an early lead with a goal by Kasuhiro Obata in the 26th minute but a foul inside the box gave Erco Bro FC a penalty shot. Madi Nji converted the penalty shot to equalize the match, 1-1, in the 46th minute.

Jhemar scored the go-ahead goal after beating the Rising Sun defenders and hitting the back of the net at pointblank range.

Nji sealed the match in the 88th minute with a right footer from a cross by Rustom Seares inside the box.

Erco Bro FC moved up to the No. 1 spot with 12 points and is ahead of Rising Sun on goal difference. Idle University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) is also fighting for a semifinal spot of Group B with Erco Bro FC and Rising Sun. USPF has nine points and still has one more match left.

University of San Carlos (USC) forced defending champion Leylam FC to share a point each with a 1-1 draw in Group A.

Dan Villarico gave Leylam FC the early lead with a goal in the 24th minute before Kerr Agot, however, scored the equalizer in the 50th minute.

University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) thrashed We United, 7-0, in the other Group A match. Alemark Jumapit led USJ-R’s charge with two goals in the 20th and 81st. Eugene Vicente (15th), Neil Minoza (30th), Neil Bono (64th), Christian Tapia (74th) and Kenneth Caytor (85th) added a goal each for the Jaguars.

Samba FC still remains at the top of the group with 12 points, Leylam FC is at second with 10, while USC is at third with seven. Samba already clinched a spot in the semifinals, while USC and Leylam FC are battling for the other spot.

Leylam FC takes on Don Bosco United FC in its last match on March 5, while USC faces USJ-R on the same date. Leylam FC needs at least a draw to advance.