MANILA, Philippines – After getting their winning streak broken in their last outing, the Loyola Meralco Sparks bounced back Tuesday night, February 11, as they clipped Pachanga Diliman FC, 2-1, while Global FC crushed Team Socceroo, 9-0, in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig City.
Nate Burkey continues to shine for Pachanga as he towed his squad to an early 1-nil lead but Loyola answered back with two quick goals from Joaco Canas and Freddie Gonzalez to get back to the winning track for their fifth victory in their six games so far this season.
Pachanga-Diliman looked good from the get-go as the former Azkals forward Burkey increased his goals tally this season to five, just eight minutes into the game to put Loyola on the backfoot in the early goings.
The Sparks however did not wait for long as the Spanish Loyola defender Canas headed in Robert Canedo’s corner kick in the 25th, to even the scoring for Loyola.
Gonzalez then got Loyola in front as he netted in a 29th minute goal against his former team in the second division.
Both teams then upped their defending in the second half as things got more physical with John Edward Rances earning a yellow in the 69th following a rough challenge on Matt Hartmann. Loyola had its share of bookings too when the returning James Younghusband was shown a yellow, 10 minutes to go before the end of regulation.
Pachanga almost pulled the rug from under Loyola as Burkey found Andrew Gerard Santiago on the freekick but the latter’s header goes just wide to let the Sparks run away with a close one-goal victory.
The win improves Loyola’s record to 6-1-0 for a league-best 19 points while Pachanga drops to 2-0-4.
Global thumps Socceroo, 9-nil
On the other game of the night, it was a ruthless one-sided affair between Global and Team Socceroo as The Blue Machine marches to a 9-0 domination of the newly-promoted side.
Mark Hartmann went on a rampage against Socceroo as he finished with four goals, including a hat-trick in the first half to lead Global to its fifth win and stay within striking distance of league-leading Loyola Meralco.
Hartmann, who is now the league’s second leading scorer with eight so far, had a stellar night as he scored three goals within a span of six minutes – 17’, 22’, 23’ – and found the net for the fourth time in the 62nd, that propelled Global to 15 points, four points behind Loyola in the table.
Coach Leigh Manson’s side only took five minutes to open the books as Milad Behgandom directed Ben Starosta’s header into the net to give Global an early one-goal edge. Behgandom doubled his output in the 27th that gave his squad an enormous 5-nil lead coming into halftime.
Starosta then chalked in a goal of his own as he surprised Socceroo’s defense less than a minute after the break that knocked the wind out of the hapless Team Socceroo side.
Izzo El Habbib announced his return to the league with a blast as he made put Global eight goals up in the 70th, barely two minutes after subbing into the game.
The Sudanese scoring machine then completed his brace 89 minutes into the game to wrap up the rout for Global, nine goals to none.
Global is now 5-0-1 and gains a five-point cushion ahead of third-placed Kaya FC while Team Socceroo, after holding off Loyola to a draw, stays eighth at 1-2-5 for five points. – Rappler.com
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