MANILA, Philippines – The Loyola Meralco Sparks are in for a tough ride in its first ever appearance in the 2012 RHB Singapore Cup with a former champion standing on their way.
In the draw held yesterday at Bugis Junction in Singapore, the Sparks have earned the 2009 RHB Singapore Cup champions Geylang United Eagles in the Round of 16 knock-out stage.
The Sparks, who were invited after topping the first round of the ongoing United Football League (UFL) season, will be bannered by AFC Challenge Cup golden boot awardee Phil Younghusband together with his brother James and Mark Hartmann.
Geyland, which is one of the top teams in Singapore’s premier professional football tournament S.League, is not taking Loyola Meralco lightly.
“We will respect the team we are drawn against in the first match, and we look to progress from there,” Kanan Vedhamuthu told S.League website.
“I have only just come to know they have some key players of caliber and quality, so we will need to be prepared against this Philippine team. We should take nothing for granted,” added Vedhamuthu, who took over from Mike Wong only last March.
The winner between the Sparks and the Eagles will move on to the quarterfinals where they will face the winner of S.League’s Woodlands Wellington FC and Myanmar National League title contender Kanbawza FC.
The Round of 16 matches will start on May 14.