Singapore Cup • June 2, 2014

Santos: Singapore Cup A Good Distraction For Us


Written By: Kenneth Ho

After a morale-boosting 7-1 win over SHB Champasak FC in the preliminary round of the RHB Singapore Cup 2014, Loyola Meralco Sparks coach Joseph Santos said the competition was a good distraction for his team.

Loyola currently are third in Philippines’ football top-flight division, and are seven points adrift of league leaders Global FC with four games to go.

Feeling that the title for the league was beyond his team, Santos admitted that it felt good to have something else to fight for at this stage of the season.

“With the performance in the league, we pretty much given away the league and it is out of our hands,” Santos said. “I am glad to have the Singapore RHB Cup to focus on and we are looking to do way better for this.”

However, the Loyola coach shared that he had some apprehensions about his team’s chances prior to and during the game, especially after Champasak scored on the stroke of half-time to equalise against the Sparks.

“First half we conceded in the 47th minute, and I am just glad that happened in the first half as that gave us a chance to regroup. Something like that can demoralise a team and we just wanted to make sure that we went back into the game,” he explained.

“We had no idea of how Champasak would play, we were trying to find videos of them playing and we had none. So we came into this game without knowing much about them so we focused on our defensive responsibilities first and then we adjusted accordingly.”

Philippines internationals James Younghusband and Simon Greatwich both started the match, and the former played a starring role in the match as he scored a hat-trick.

Santos asserted that the pair were hugely influential in the victory although he was unsure whether both players not playing for Philippines against Palestine in the AFC Challenge Cup finals two days before the Singapore Cup tie helped.

However, he was convinced the huge margin of win was made possible due to his front man Graham Caygill.

“Our striker today, Graham Caygill, he worked very hard for us and I think his work rate is the reason why we put him up there.”