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Supercharged James shows full power as electrified Loyola jolts Stallion


By Kevin Estrada

MANILA-- An electrified Loyola quickly showed its title credentials for the second match running, as they made a mincemeat of Stallion in an electrifying display of football, 3-1 as the Mother's Day fixtures of the league concluded late Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Skipper James Younghusband led the Sparks's supercharge as he notched his hat-trick to tie Misagh Bahadoran on top of the scoring charts with four goals apiece, as Simon McMenemy scalped another league champion for the second match in a row, a week after shocking defending holders Ceres to start their league campaign on a bright start.

Substitute Ashley Flores pulled one back for the 2013 champions but could not escape slumping to back-to-back defeats, their worst league start since entering the top flight four years ago.

Loyola lorded over Stallion in terms possession and corners taken in a physical and tight encounter that saw 26 fouls and four yellow cards whistled by Ariel Montaña on both clubs.

In a roughly even affair, Stallion were the early aggressor as Ruben Doctora and Joshua Beloya started to fire long ranged shots to Tomas Trigo, who had been solid in between the sticks.

That changed, three minutes before the half, as Younghusband flicked from long range that came from a throw-in by Tahj Minniecon. Four minutes later in added time, the skipper doubled their edge with a strike just outside the box, which came from a short corner from the Australian and Alvaro Castiella.

The Sparks continued their lightning attack at the restart, with the former Wanderer hit the woodwork twice in the first 18 minutes.

However, Stallion's persistence paid off a minute later after Minniecon's miss, latching on a free header off Nate Alquiros' corner to halve the deficit.

Four minutes later, Nierras' men had four chances to equalize, but found Trigo and centre-back Joaco a tough nut to crack as the Sparks denied each of them.

Younghusband repaid his backline's form by grabbing all three points by pouncing on a wrong clearance and fired his shot inside the arc to complete his hat-trick.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada