LOYOLA Meralco bounced back from a disappointing performance last week by blanking an undermanned Nomads side, 5-0, Tuesday night to grab solo second place in the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Coming off a 1-1 draw against Kaya, the Sparks returned to their high-scoring ways, drawing a brace from Mark Hartmann and a goal each from Chad Gould, Simon Greatwich, and Phil Younghusband to hike their point total to 15 in six games.
Nomads, without coach Jeff Jofre and key players Phil Connolly and James Woldring for various reasons, dropped its second game against three wins and two draws, but remained in fourth place with 11 points.
“We were a bit down the way we finished the game last week. And I think the response today was absolutely superb,” skipper James Younghusband said. “We showed what we’re good at. It was very difficult for Nomads to keep up with the ball.”
Hartmann opened the scoring with a neat curling free kick conversion in the 37th minute, before Gould doubled the lead three minutes later with a volley.
The Sparks sustained the spree in the second half, starting with another Hartmann goal in the 64th minute and Greatwich’s goal five minutes later, before Younghusband put the exclamation point with a goal a minute before stoppage time.
“I think before we scored the goal, we didn’t play very well, to be honest,” Phil Younghusband admitted. “It was only until the first goal sort of relieved the pressure off us and we were able to play better and keep the ball.”