Phil Younghusband scored the marginal goal to lead the Loyola Meralco Sparks past Green Archers United, while Kaya FC continued its fine form with a victory over defending champion Philippine Air Force Phoenix in United Football League action Saturday at University of Makati.
Younghusband, the league’s leading scorer, booted in a goal at the 81st minute to give the Sparks the 3-2 result over the Archers.
The Younghusband goal quashed a spirited rally by United, which came back from an early 2-0 deficit to tie the match.
Byeong Yeol Jeong opened the scoring for the Sparks after hooking up with James Younghusband at the 23rd minute. Loyola looked to put the game away early in the second half, with Mark Hartmann scoring after dazzling defenders with his dribbling skills at the 47th minute.
But the Green Archers’ reply was fast and furious, courtesy of the speedy Tating Pasilan, who broke through for his team’s first goal at the 49th minute. He once again broke down the Loyola defense to tie the game at the 65th minute, setting up Phil’s heroics.
In the first match, Kaya won its second straight game after the departure of former coach Juan Cutillas, defeating Air Force, 3-1, in a heated match.
Azkals Chieffy Caligdong opened the scoring for Air Force, scoring at the 10th minute. But Kaya grabbed the upper hand before the break as Eric Dagroh and Lexton Moy got on board at the 21st and 33rd minute, respectively.
Things got heated late in stoppage time, with Dagroh getting into a scuffle with Air Force defender Herbert Bayona. Dagroh was sent off after receiving his second yellow card, while Bayona was docked with a yellow.
But despite being a man down, Kaya had the last laugh, as Nicolas Balzico scored at the 94th minute to set the final score.
After the match, Kaya owner Santi Araneta took to Twitter to complain about the rough play. Araneta, who also serves as chairman of the UFL, wrote: “Bayona should be disciplined by the disciplinary committee for a closed fist punch on Dagroh! Very clear on TV & IN REPLAY!”