MANILA, Philippines - Loyola Meralco Sparks leaned on the Younghusband brothers as they nipped Stallion Gilligan’s, 3-0, to wrest the lead in the United Football League at the University of Makati yesterday.
James Younghusband dished off a brace (10th and 78th) sandwiching brother Phil’s penalty conversion (29th) as the Sparks picked up their 31st point (10-1-2), bumping off idle Global FC (30 points on 10-0-2) from the top of the table.
The Stallion booters, who missed Baek Seong Kab, Ruben Doctora Jr. and Park Bo Bae due to suspension, remained at fourth spot with 22 points on 6-4-2.
Sparks skipper James opened up scoring 10 minutes into the match, which league’s top goal scorer Phil followed up by hitting the ball towards the top left corner off a penalty minutes later.
James pounced on his chance to flick the ball with his right foot at the 78th minute as Loyola avenged its 1-4 loss to Stallion the first time, a highly charged encounter that sent off Phil.
Yesterday’s match up was intense that 12 cards were issued in all, and five members of the Stallion coaching staff – coach Pee Eun Hyung, Richard Bedia, Friday Bayona, Tyrone Panaguiton, and JR Robles – were ordered to leave the bench.
Earlier, Armed Forces rivals Army Fritz & Macziol and Air Force Phoenix battled to a 2-2 standoff in another heated match.
With the result, a repeat of their 2-2 draw the first round, Air Force stayed at fifth with 13 points on 3-4-5. Army, which played one-man short from the 59th minute on after Jeoffrey Lobaton was red carded, occupied eighth with 2-4-7 (10 points).
The Airmen drew first blood, via Yanti Barsales’ 25th minute goal but the Armymen tied it up just three minutes later as Meliton Pelayo headed the football home off a pass by Roel Gener.
Air Force once again took the upperhand on Ian Araneta’s penalty conversion at the 62nd minute before Army’s Romano Vestal lobbed in the equalizer for the short-handed team at the 72nd minute, forcing a similar outcome as the first round encounter of the rival sides.