Sparks too classy for Air Force XI


LOYOLA Meralco ended a long winless spell against Air Force in emphatic fashion Thursday night as the Sparks came away with a resounding 4-0 win in the United Football League at Emperador Stadium in Taguig.

Mark Hartmann scored twice and set up the two other goals for Phil Younghusband and Freddie Gonzalez as the Sparks produced a scintillating second half display to put the Airmen to the sword.

The convincing win also pushed the Sparks to the top of the table with a better goal difference, ahead of Global and Stallion, which subdued Army, 2-1, earlier.

Both Army and Air Force absorbed their second losses of the season.

Lee Joo-young unleashed a spectacular left footed effort from 25 yards in the ninth minute to open the scoring for Stallion, before Joaco Canas doubled the lead eight minutes before halftime with a header off a Jason de Jong corner kick.

But Army showed plenty of fight in the second half even after the sending off of Ronel Gener. Luisito Brilliantes volleyed home from close range just six minutes after the restart, setting the stage for a nervy finish for Stallion.

The Airmen beat the Sparks in the 2011 UFL Cup final and held them to a 3-3 draw in the league, before ruining their title hopes with a 2-1 win late in the season. But they are fielding a young lineup this season with Yanti Barsales skipping the early stages due to commitments and Chieffy Caligdong moving to Archers.

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