LOYOLA Meralco star Phil Younghusband rued the missed opportunity to help the Sparks, who ended up bowing to Global FC, 1-2, in the United Football League on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
The Sparks striker felt helpess staying on the sidelines with a groin (adductor pull) injury as he saw his team surrender an early lead to Global in perhaps the most important game of the season.
“It’s hard to watch when you feel you can do something in the game,” Younghusband said in a chat with Spin.ph after the game. “You want to come on, but you can’t.”
Instead of making the title race more interesting, the Sparks allowed Global to pull away further from the rest of the UFL field and move nearer to the league championship.
“It’s another setback, but we just have to keep working hard, keep making sure we win our remaining games,” said Younghusband, who still believes the season is far from decided.
“It’s never over. There are a few games to go. There could be still some more upsets, so we still feel we may have a say, whether we affect it for Global or Kaya.”
In his absence, brother and right winger James was thrust up front to provide the scoring punch, which the elder Younghusband did, opening the scoring 33 minutes into the game off a rebound.
After scoring the goal, James taunted Global goalkeeper Roland Sadia, which, Global coach Leigh Manson felt, rallied his troops.
“I just did that (gesture) because he smacked me in the face during the first corner,” Younghusband insisted.
“But we kissed and made up,” he added. “Obviously it was in the heat of the moment after getting the goal. I was a bit lucky to get the goal. I was just upset he smacked me in the face right before that.”
As a result, Global mounted a comeback behind old reliables Misagh Bahadoran and Izzo El-Habbib.
“We worked hard, but we ran out of steam,” Younghusband said. “Obviously Global’s impact subs made the difference.”