Loyola Sparks brush aside Young Tigers in Singapore Cup
An early red card saw the downfall of the Malaysian side, who conceded three times against their well-balanced opponents from Philippines at the Jalan Besar Stadium
By Sadat Osman
The 2013 RHB Singapore Cup kicked off at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Sunday evening with Loyola Meralco Sparks of the Philippines knocking out Malaysia’s Harimau Muda from the competition.
A brace from Philip Younghusband and another goal from Jang Jowoong sealed the victory for Vincent Santos’ men, who were taking part in the Cup for the second time.
The game started with both sides looking pretty even in the opening five minutes while trying to get the early goal.
The Young Tigers were the first to get an opportunity when Osman Yusoff broke free on the right-hand side, but he could only find the side netting.
The Philippine side were patient to build their offence and were not potent until the 17th minute.
Roxy Dorlas launched a surging ball over the Harimau Muda defence looking for Philip Younghusband, and Nashriq Yahya’s weak backward header was dreadful, which resulted in the recovering Ashmawi Yakin seeing red for taking down Younghusband in the penalty box.
The number 10 converted from the spot to make it 1-0.
Razip Ismail’s forces were clearly affected after going one goal and one man down.
Loyola looked more confident as they used the 4-2-4 formation interchangeably, as they searched for the second.
Ten-man Harimau Muda, however, did not give up.
An inspiring run by S. Vikneswaran from left-back to the edge of the box was a glimmer of hope, but his finish was too weak and wide of the post.
Seconds later, they threatened again with a shot from Akhir Bahari from 20 yards but again, it was off target.
In a similar play earlier in the half, Dorlas sent another superb long ball, this time finding Jang, who made no mistake to beat Ilham Amirullah to make it 2-0 six minutes from the break.
Going into the second half, Loyola resumed their dominance at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
Five minutes in, Matthew Hartmann was unmarked in the penalty area as he volleyed a cracker of a shot against the post.
Moments later, Jang was guilty of missing a golden opportunity from close range.
As time went on, the Loyola players looked fatigued and were losing out to the younger Harimua Muda side.
The Young Tigers then pressed on for a goal through Ridzuan Abdunloh, who sent his shot whaling over the bar in the 51st minute.
Two minutes later, Akhir had an opportunity from a free kick but he could only direct his header off target.
At the 60-minute mark, Loyola came close to finding their third goal when Jang used his tricky feet to beat Hanif Dzahir to make room for a shot. However, he chose a deft chip and missed the goal.
The Young Tigers then dominated the rest of the game in terms of possession but had no goals to show for it other than several pops from range that couldn’t trouble the goalkeeper.
Loyola then dealt the killer blow with the third goal of the night in the 81st minute.
As Harimau Muda committed players in the final third, they were caught off-guard with another patented long pass. Abysmal defending allowed Younghusband to pounce on a loose ball to put in his second of the night.
Loyola held on for the victory to progress to the next round as the Young Tigers crashed out of the competition.
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Loyola Meralco Sparks FC
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