Singapore Cup: Sparks trounce Kanbawza, 3-1, in first leg QF duel
SINGAPORE—Brothers Phil and James Younghusband and Mark Hartmann found the back of the net as United Football League side Loyola Meralco Sparks survived a bruising duel with the Burmese side Kanbawza, 3-1, Thursday night amid a tense atmosphere at the Jalan Besar Stadium here.
Phil opened the scoring in the 14th minute before Hartmann doubled the advantage 18 minutes into the second half. Kanbawza pulled a goal back through Soe Min Oo with 15 minutes remaining, but James Younghusband put the outcome beyond doubt with a stoppage-time strike.
The second leg is set Sunday with the Sparks needing just to protect their lead as the team that wins on aggregate will move on. There is no away goals rule in the Singapore Cup.
Kanbawza finished the game with only nine players after Hia Htwe was sent off just before halftime for hitting James Younghusband. Kyaw Min followed him to the showers after a second yellow card midway in the second half.
The Sparks, who finished third in the UFL, reached the quarterfinals after stunning Singapore League side Geylang United, 2-1, in extra time last May, while Kanbawza pulled off a similar win over S-League team Geylang United.
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