Loyola crush Flame United in club championship
MANILA, Philippines – Loyola flexed their muscles in an 8-0 rout of the hopelessly overmatched Flame United in their opening match of the Smart Club Championships at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last Saturday.
The Sparks overwhelmed Flame United – composed of former Philippine Christian University players, Arellano University players and loaned out Air Force players – with the rule of the midfield and crips diagonal passing.
Matthew Hartmann, back in uniform following a year-long suspension by the Philippine Football Federation, scored a hat-trick and didn’t seem to miss a beat despite the long layoff.
“I was just glad to get back and play,” said Hartmann, who occupied the slot of holding midfielder after Anto Gonzales returned to Pachanga-Diliman at the end of his season-long loan to Loyola.
“It was good to contribute and this result will help not only the team but my confidence,” he added.
It was an all-brother affair as Hartmann’s younger brother, Mark, continued his recent resurgence and strong play by scoring the opening two goals for Loyola, beginning with a brilliant free kick from 25 yards out that beat keeper Bernard Lelis in the 17th minute.
Eight minutes after the opening goal, Mark Hartmann headed in a high cross by Chad Gould from the right side of the box to double Loyola’s lead.
In the 28th minute, it was the Younghusband brothers’ turn to take the spotlight when Phil Younghusband set up James for a thunderous volley from outside the box to make it 3-0.
At the resumption of play, Loyola midfielder Byeong Yeol Jeong beat defender Carl Arañez deep in Flame United territory to send a cross that Matthew Hartmann headed home past Perry Camba Jr., who replaced Lelis at goal.
Hartmann’s goal made it 4-nil as Flame United coach Ravelo Saluria, a former national team player, shuffled his players in hopes of stemming the tide.
In the 67th minute, Phil Younghusband followed up his shot that Camba initially stopped with a right-footed blast to hike the score to 5-0.
Mark Hartmann then set up older brother Matthew with a well-played back heel pass that the latter dribbled in once for better position before firing into the far post, where Camba had no chance, and made it 6-0 for Loyola.
In the 76th minute, Phil Younghusband slalomed through two defenders and his glorious right foot gave him a brace with another cracking shot, before Matthew Hartmann closed out the match with his third goal in the 86th minute.
In other Smart Club Championship play, General Trias defeated Baguio FC, 3-1, at Benguet State University, while Green Archers United crushed Ramgarjal, 6-1, at the Rizal Memorial State University Field in Capitan City in a match that saw new acquisition Chieffy Caligdong score a brace.