James Younghusband scored a hat trick and the Loyola Meralco Sparks beat Stallion, 3-1, on Sunday for their second win in the United Football League at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Younghusband broke the scoreless tie in the 42nd minute before doubling the lead shortly before halftime. Stallion made it interesting in the 64th with a goal by Jim Ashley Flores but the national team veteran sealed the win late with a 20-yard strike.
Loyola created a three-way tie for the early lead with JP Voltes and UFL Cup champion Global with six points apiece.
The Sparks are riding high from their 3-2 win over Ceres-La Salle last week while Younghusband tied Global’s Misagh Bahadoran for the most goals after two weeks of the league season with four.
“James Younghusband was just fantastic today,” said Sparks coach Simon McMenemy, who continued to miss injured striker Phil Younghusband.
“We’ve responded very well after a disappointing Cup run,” said Younghusband. “Everyone has been tremendous, positive and we’re pleased with the way we started this campaign.”
Earlier, Green Archers United slipped past Pasargad, 2-1, for its first win of the season. Newcomer Chima Uzoka and Jess Melliza found the back of the net for Archers, which bounced back from being held to a 1-1 tie by Forza.