Younghusbands bid farewell to Manila, trumps Davao in their swansong

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James Younghusband signs off for Manila in a handsome fashion. (Meralco Manila photo)
By Kevin Estrada

Meralco Manila gave the Younghusbands a fitting farewell after coming from a goal down at the half to take a 3-2 win away at Davao Aguilas to provisionally move on top of the PFL table.

In front of a capacity crowd in Tagum, the brothers had a huge footprint in their final act as a Spark, with a goal and two assists combined to bid farewell to the club that they played 106 times between them in league play for the past seven seasons.

With Joaco suspended on cards, Aris Caslib entrusted Neil Dorimon as Milan Nikolic's partner at the heart of the defense.

However, they have to take all three points the hard way, as Harrison Sawyer shoved the home side ahead in the 33rd minute following a defensive miscue.

The Serbian then equalized four minutes before halftime with an open header off Phil Younghusband's free kick to beat Marko Trkujla, but former Spark Matthew Hartmann restored their advantage just 72 seconds after the Nikolic's goal, firing in with his left foot that capped off a six-pass stretch after the restart.

A quick Manila blitz was all the men in black need to take all three points in the second half. electrocuting the already grounded Aguilas with two goals in the space of two minutes.

Wearing the armband for the final time, skipper James Younghusband level things up in the 64th minute, latching on the cross from his younger brother with a low shot past the Serbian shot-stopper.

Nikolic then completed his brace to give the capital side all three points in the 66th with another free header off a corner from the club's leading goalscorer.

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