Sparks gain Singapore Cup semifinals
National team standout James Younghusband quickly brushed aside the country’s disappointment in the AFC Challenge Cup, recording a hat-trick to lead the Loyola Meralco Sparks to a 7-1 crushing of SHB Champasak Sunday night in the Singapore Cup at Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
Freddy Gonzalez also scored twice in the second half, while Phil Younghusband, coming in as a substitute, grabbed one more goal to complete the rout that sent the Sparks to the semifinals.
Another Philippine side, Global FC, was not as fortunate as it fell to DPMM Brunei, 0-7, Saturday night. Global missed national players Jason De Jong, Amani Aguinaldo and Daisuke Sato, who were still with the Azkals in the Maldives.
The Younghusband brothers, along with Simon Greatwich, flew directly to Singapore immediately after the Azkals lost to Palestine in the AFC Challenge Cup finals.
Missing the last three matches of the AFC Challenge Cup, James Younghusband came out motivated, helping the Sparks take the lead before completing his hat-trick with a well-taken free kick in the 90th minute.
The Sparks remained the only survivor among the four invited teams to the 16-team tournament.