MANILA, Philippines - Loyola Meralco Sparks and Global FC routed their respective foes to keep their 1-2 posts at the start of the second round of the United Football League at the Emperador Staduim over the weekend.
Lee Joo Young scored in the first half while Freddy Gonzales knocked in two goals in the second half to power Loyola to a 3-0 romp over Team Socceroo and remain on top of the First Division with a 23-point total.
Lee shattered the scoreless deadlock when he scored a goal past Guilherme Hasegawa with a minute left in the first half before Gonzales unloaded a double in the second half – in the 55th and 84th – to complete the victory for the Sparks.
“We played so much better in the second half with our quick passing, movement, we just pulled it together,” said Gonzales, who scored both of his goals off crisp, clever passing by Korean Lee Won Hyung.
Misagh Bahadoran, meanwhile, hit a goal in the early going, then Mark Hartmann, Milad Behgandom and Jason de Jong took over as Global crushed Green Archers United Globe, 4-0, to stay one point behind Loyola.
Global also stamped its class in the second half after a first-half struggle against the tough-defending Archers until Bahadoran blasted in a nifty cross from Hartmann.
“It was a great finish to a poor half, a moment of magic,” said Global’s Scottish coach Leigh Manson. “The problem was in the first half, we played as a group of individuals, we were making poor decisions.”
Up by just a goal after the first half, GAU goalie Ivan Fraire made a spectacular save after he deflected a Bahadoran strike.
Unfortunately, it landed on the streaking Hartmann, who tapped in the goal to make it 2-0.
With the match already settled, Behgandom and De Jong added insult to injury with the former heading home a goal from a corner kick and the latter scoring his first goal of the season after connecting on a beautiful pass from Izzeldin Elhabib less than a minute later.
In lone Second Division action, Ceres-La Salle slammed Agila, 4-1, to boost its stock.