Payback time for Team James in wet Clear Dream Match II

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WITH the way he celebrated his first goal, there was little doubt that getting revenge in the Clear Dream Match II Saturday night meant so much to James Younghusband.

Leading by example, Younghusband struck twice in the first half to help his side post an emphatic 4-1 triumph over his younger brother Phil’s side at a jampacked yet waterlogged University of Makati field.

Global striker Izzo El-Habbib also bagged a brace for Team James, whose backline was reinforced by former Italy skipper and 2006 World Cup winner Fabio Cannavaro.

For a while, memories of last year’s 1-5 drubbing came flashing back for Team James when Phil Younghusband opened the scoring with a long-range strike in the 4th minute.

But James equalized 10 minutes later with a volley past Patrick Deyto after getting set up by fellow national team member Misagh Bahadoran.

The older Younghusband celebrated as if it was a game-winner.

Both teams refused to pull their punches in the virtual All-Star game that also featured Chelsea legend Dennis Wise with players issuing strong tackles and showing serious attacking intent. The heavy rains, however, took a toll on the pitch, especially in the second half.

Team James got a break in the 27th minute when Bahadoran earned a penalty for a foul off Rodriguez Nembot, who was subsequently dismissed by referee Michael Barajas.

James converted the penalty, before El-Habbib got the first of his two goals in the 35th minute when he latched onto a fine low cross from Simon Greatwich.

Members of Team James also took majority of the individual awards with El-Habbib being named best forward and MVP and Bahadoran chosen as favorite player of the game.

Saba Garmaroudi was the best goalkeeper and Yves Ashime the best defender. Team Phil member Chris Greatwich was the best midfielder.

Match proceeds will go to Tropical Storm “Maring” relief efforts as well as to the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Foundation.

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