Younghusband shines as Meralco rules Manila derby
Phil Younghusband found the back of the net for the first time in four matches as Meralco Manila subdued 10-man Kaya Manila, 2-0, last Saturday for its fifth straight win in the Philippines Football League at University of Makati pitch.
Skipper for the match as older brother James was sidelined by injury, Phil sealed the victory in the second half after beating Zach Banzon from the penalty spot following a controversial foul called on Kaya striker Jordan Mintah, who looked to have struck Meralco defender Milad Nikolic inside the box.
Mintah was also sent off for the foul, marking the fourth straight match that Kaya finished the game with only 10 players.
“It was a tough game against Kaya and the conditions on the pitch made it difficult,” said Younghusband. “But the result is what matters more than the performance.”
Over at Rizal Memorial Stadium, JPV Marikina stunned Ceres Negros, 2-1, thanks to goals from Takumi Uesato and J Baguioro.
With the victory, JPV climbed to second spot with 12 points, while the Busmen absorbed their first loss in three matches.
All three goals came in the second half where Uesato opened the scoring in the 57th minute before Baguiro doubled the advantage in the 79th minute. JPV hung on despite Bienve Marañon’s 83rd minute goal.
It was Younghusband’s first goal in the league since scoring in the 5-1 win over Stallion Laguna on opening-day last May 6. More importantly, the Sparks jacked up their tally to 15 points from five matches, extending their lead over Kaya to five points despite playing two game less than their rivals.
After a sloppy start for both sides in the clash billed as the Metro Manila derby, defender Joaco Canas gave the Sparks the lead five minutes before halftime with a glancing header off a throw in from Alvin Sarmiento.
Well drilled and organized, the Sparks hardly gave Kaya strikers Robert Lopez Mendy and Mintah a chance to threaten Ace Villanueva on goal as coach Aris Caslib’s men picked up their third straight clean sheet.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.