After suffering heartbreaking defeats to fellow title contenders Kaya and Ceres-La Salle, the Loyola Meralco Sparks received a boost to securing a strong second place finish in the league by beating Stallion last week. Overjoyed by the result, Phil Younghusband, Bradley Grayson and the rest of the Sparks are upbeat, perhaps optimistic that the latest result buoys them to more wins.
In their latest triumph,the aforementioned duo played major roles in the win with the latter spearheading the attacking barrage. The English striker has been bagging goals in his team’s recent games, but thinks that they only taste sweet whenever they win. A brace on the night from Grayson proved just enough to separate Loyola from Stallion who were on the wrong end of a 3-1 contest. “We deserve it. We’ve been unlucky the past couple of weeks. Stallion is a good team and hopefully we can build on it,” he said.
The younger of the Younghusband brothers, Phil, praised his teammate for his ability to deliver in such a pressure-packed role. “We’ve brought him over to score goals. He’s showing what quality he has. It’s great to see him do it in games,” the man who used to terrorize defenses as a striker uttered.
Younghusband still strikes fear to the opposition, but nowadays the former Chelsea Academy standout labors in a deeper role in midfield. Having done it for the Azkals, Phil thinks his club team also benefits from this development. “[I’m] Not scoring as many goals, but I’m able to get on the ball more, try and set up some plays,” described the player who believes his strengths are more profitable in his new position.
Looking forward, the team coached by Simon McMenemy to finish directly behind champions-elect Ceres-La Salle. The team currently leading the league only needs a point in three games. In their current form, it seems that it is only a question of when. And so, Loyola Meralco Sparks find themselves with four more teams in a tight race for second place. Keen to bolster their claim, the Sparks return to the field tomorrow evening against Pachanga-Diliman FC.