Sparks fly as sleek passing game pays dividends in three-goal romp vs Archers
By Karlo Sacamos
SPREADING the wealth once again, Loyola Meralco blanked Green Archers United, 3-0, on Tuesday night to sustain its scorching start in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill
The Sparks displayed another clinical passing game as they remained unbeaten after four starts and remained firmly on top of the nine-team standings with 12 points.
Phil Younghusband, Matthew Hartmann, and Jake Morallo scored one goal apiece — all from assists — for the Sparks, who kept the Archers winless with their first loss against three draws.
“We are the habits we create,” Sparks coach Vince Santos said. “Every training session we work on our (passing game). Possession for us is not just possession to keep the ball. It’s possession really to look for opportunity on goal.
“That’s the result of what we’ve been doing in training ever since."
Younghusband, who wore the captain’s armband anew with brother and skipper James out with an ankle injury, unlocked the Archers defense 16 minutes into the game when he scored off a Boyet Cañedo pass, before Hartmann doubled the lead off a Lee Joo Young through pass in the 35th minute.
Underscoring the Sparks’ slick passing game, Morallo punctuated the Sparks onslaught by scoring in the 90th minute in an offensive sequence that took all of 13 passes to complete.
The match, however, was again marred by a questionable non-call midway through the second half when Sparks defender Joaco Cañas clearly committed a handball that denied the Archers’ Robert Mendy a goal.
“It was really fast. I think my hand was beside me, but it was not like I extended it,” the Spanish center-back said.
His coach later defended Canas.
“Sometimes you try to make yourself as big as possible to protect goals and in the last minute you may do some movements, but I don’t think Joaco is the type of guy who would deliberately stick his hand to win the ball,” Santos defended.