Ace striker Phil Younghusband pulled off a hat-trick to propel the Loyola Meralco Sparks FC to a 5-2 win over JP Voltes FC in Group C of the United Football League (UFL) Cup 2015 held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Tuesday.
Loyola, the defending champs improved their record to two wins and a draw.
JP Voltes who took the upper hand in the early moments of the game as Yugo Kobayashi exploited an opening in the Sparks’ defense to take the early 1-0 lead for his squad in the 25th minute.
After numerous attempts to snatch the equalizer, Meralco finally retaliated as Tahj Minniecon found the back of the net to level the score at 1-1.
A few minutes after, Takashi Odawara conceded a penalty after being booked for a dangerous tackle inside the box on Curt Dizon.
Minniecon, after several retakes because of infractions, finally hit his mark from the spot to give Loyola a comfortable 2-1 lead going into the break.
In the second half, Loyola proved to be the more aggressive team as Phil Younghusband, who came in during the 53rd minute for Minniecon, took the floor and saved the day for the Sparks.
Phil Younghusband notched his first goal in the contest off a free kick deep inside the territory of JP Voltes, giving his side a 3-1 advantage after 58 minutes of play.
The younger Younghusband scorched their back-line for his second goal off an assist by defender Anton Del Rosario during the 60th minute.
Kobayashi, on the other hand, refused to go down without a fight as he grabbed his second goal of the evening off an intercepted ball by Odawara from a clearance by Loyola goalkeeper Tomas Trigo.
Problems piled up for the men of JP Voltes as another foul inside the box was notched, this time by Tatsuya Nakamura prompting the referee to award the second penalty kick for the night for Loyola.
Phil Younghusband took the shot completing his hat trick in the contest during the 83rd minute.
In the other match, the battle of Mendiola FC 1991 and University of Sto. Tomas FC ended in a 2-2 draw.