MANILA, Philippines -- Following their hard-fought first-round win over Geylang United in the 2012 RHB Singapore Cup last May, the Loyola Meralco Sparks turned back Myanmar's Kanbawza, 3-1, at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Kanbawza looked dangerous in the first 15 minutes of the match, threatening the Sparks with their fast-paced game.
Midfielder Jeong Byeong-Yeol found space on the left flank, unleashing a cross that found Phil Younghusband.
Younghusband then fired a shot that silenced the huge Myanmar crowd.
Meralco upped its lead in the 66th minute when midfielder Mark Hartmann turned a loose ball to a quick goal.
But striker Soe Min Oo struck back for Kanbawza as he outran Sparks’ keeper Ref Cuaresma and scored on a header, 2-1.
Phil later teamed up with his brother James Younghusband inside the box a minute into stoppage time.
A give-and-go pass between the Younghusband siblings saw James striking a shot past keeper Kyaw Zin Htet Zin.
“I think our preparation made a huge difference because we knew what they wanted to do and we took it away from them,” said Phil after the win.
“We kept our heads in the game and got a great result. But it’s not yet over. There’s one more to play.”
The Loyola Meralco Sparks' participation in the 2012 Singapore Cup is sponsored by Meralco, Cebu Pacific, and ATR Kim Eng Maybank, and Gatorade.