The Loyola Meralco Sparks seemed to have gotten over their Singapore sorrow as they kicked off their United Football League Cup campaign on the right foot, defeating Laos, 2-1, on Thursday night at the University of Makati pitch.
Coming off a blowout loss in the Singapore Cup against the Tampines Rovers last week, the Sparks were expected to come out with a better performance and they didn’t disappoint.
Newcomer Chad Gould and James Younghusband struck for a goal each for the Sparks, who gained three points and tied Pachanga and Nomads for the Group C lead.
Gould, a former member of the national team, made a rousing debut as he successfully slotted home a shot in the 24th minute that sparked the Sparks’ first-half attack.
Younghusband, who along with brother Phil, became available after they missed the Azkals’ trip to Bahrain, doubled the lead with a header one minute into first-half injury time.
Laos made a more commendable stand in the second half as they never let the Sparks score again. The club was finally rewarded after Lester Villanueva finally scored with a header six minutes before full time.
But Laos failed to duplicate the feat as it reeled to its second loss.