|Loyola boots out listless Navy
Navy Red Juice’s hopes of staying in the first division next season ran out Saturday night after Loyola Meralco scored a 10-1 demolition at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Sparks showed little mercy, dominating from start to finish as they strengthened their title bid with another comprehensive win.
It also did not help that Navy got on the wrong end of some crucial calls made by officials in the first half that hastened its 14thloss of the season.
Phil Younghusband took his tally to 23 goals for the season, after a five-goal binge – majority of which came from the brilliant work of older brother, James, on the right flank.
Mark Hartmann contributed two goals, while Korean defenders Park Min-ho and Kim Hyo-il as well as Alex Camara also got on the scoresheet for the Sparks, who still have three games remaining this season, starting with a duel with deposed champion Air Force on Tuesday.
Rolly Perez scored a consolation goal from the penalty spot in the 86th minute after Loyola substitute goalkeeper Rolando Cabaniero fouled Arnold Carino inside the box.
Guilty of missing a host of chances early on, Phil Younghusband finally found the back of the net with a 27th minute penalty that came after what appeared to be a clean tackle from Roberto Cabural inside the box.
Referee Rey Ritaga pointed straight to the spot, much to the chagrin of the Navy players and coaching staff.
Five minutes later, the Sparks doubled the lead, this time, with James Younghusband delivering the cross to the far post for Phil to finish.
The third goal came in controversial fashion anew.
Officials again wrongly gave possession to Loyola, although it appeared that Sparks leftback Roxy Dorlas had gotten the final touch under pressure from Navy goalkeeper Benito Rosalia near the endline.
With the Navy goalkeeper off his line, Dorlas quickly made the throw-in for Younghusband who laid it off for Hartmann who fired into an empty net.
Clearly deflated, Navy yielded one more goal just before the break with Younghusband curling the ball into the top corner after token pressure from the Sailors’ defense. Loyola threw more men forward in the second half and was rewarded with six more goals, jacking up its goal difference to 38.
The Sparks climbed to second spot with 35 points, ahead of Global on goal difference. Kaya still leads the pack with 36, but has played one more game than Global and Loyola.