Loyola Meralco Sparks halted a three-game winless run in the United Football League on Saturday evening after cruising to a 4-1 victory over Philippine Army GTI.
Following a goalless first half at the Emperador Stadium, the Sparks broke the deadlock in the 58th minute when Phil Younghusband expertly sent a header into the bottom corner, before Freddy Gonzalez doubled their lead eight minutes after the hour mark.
Gonzalez then made it 3-0 when he headed home a Paolo Bugas cross in the 72nd minute, and completed his hat-trick two minutes later with a neat finish after another good pass from his young team-mate.
Army managed to pull one back 12 minutes from time when John Cain grabbed his fourth goal of the campaign but it was little more than a consolation, as Loyola went on to claim their first win March 18.
The result allowed Vincent Santos’ charges to climb above Kaya into second place and they are now just two points behind leaders Global, although both their title rivals have a game in hand.
In Saturday’s other game, Pachanga Diliman won for the first time in eight outings in some style after defeating Team Socceroo 6-0.
Shayan Jafari fired Pachanga ahead after 23 minutes and Alu Kigbu soon added a second five minutes later, before Sim Hong-bo struck in the 42nd minute to give his side a commanding lead at the break.
However, they showed no signs of letting up after halftime and Nate Burkey weighed in with a fourth in the 51st minute and Kigbu grabbed his second three minutes later, before the rout was completed a minute after the hour mark when Jayson Cutamora opened his account for the season.
Saturday’s United Football League Results
Team Socceroo 0-6 Pachanga Diliman
Philippine Army GTI 1-4 Loyola Meralco Sparks