Phil Younghusband’s hat-trick powered Loyola Meralco Sparks’ 5-2 win against the Pachanga Diliman FC in the 2015 United Football League at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila on Wednesday.
Pachanga grabbed the lead in the fourth minute of the contest after skipper Hamed Hajimehdi sent a sneaky ball past Loyola goalkeeper Saba Sadeghi.
Loyola’s Curt Dizon attempted to score a goal at the 12th minute mark but his shot was easily blocked by Pachanga Diliman goalie Ace Villanueva.
The Sparks sustained their attack and was rewarded when Phil Younghusband notched his first marker off a pass from teammate Bradley Grayson. He scored another goal at the 26th minute mark from a pass from Charlie Beaton.
On the other end, Pachanga managed to regroup and scored a goal courtesy of Stephen Permanes.
The 2-2 deadlock was broken a few minutes before the break after Pachanga’s defense failed. The towering Adam Mitter headed toward a James Younghusband cross to give his squad a 3-2 edge on halftime.
Loyola showed their hapless foes no mercy in the second half. Grayson notched a goal of his own to double the lead of the Sparks this time from an assist from Phil Younghusband in the 54th minute.
Pachanga tried to penetrate their enemy’s defense but Sadeghi foiled all their attempts to score on goal. Phil Younghusband sealed Loyola’s win with a goal in the 84th minute – a hat-trick.
Meanwhile, Kaya FC overcame a sluggish start to beat Manila Jeepney FC, 4-1, in the first game.
With their victories, Loyola and Kaya are now tied with Global FC with 31 points in the race for the second place honor of the UFL. Ceres La Salle FC is still on top of the standings with a nine-point lead over the three remaining teams in the Top Four.