SINGAPORE—The Philippines’ Global FC reached the semifinals of the Singapore Cup Saturday night—but not before surviving a scare against a DPMM Brunei squad that simply refused to give up.
The 2012 United Football League champions hung on for a scrambling 4-4 draw in the second leg to complete a 5-4 victory on aggregate against the S-League squad at Jalan Besar Stadium and reach the last four of the prestigious tournament here.
Carli de Murga delivered a sensational first half hat-trick, while Rufo Sanchez, the hero in the 1-0 victory in the first leg Wednesday night, scored his second goal of the tie 10 minutes into the second half as Global built enough cushion to weather DPMM’s late onslaught.
With the victory, Global matched the achievement of fellow UFL side Loyola Meralco, which also reached the last four of last year’s tournament.
The Sparks were playing Tanjong Pagar last night in the second leg of their own quarterfinal duel at JBS with the winner facing Global in the semifinals on the first week of October.
“This is our first time to join the Singapore Cup and I’m glad we were able to achieve what another Filipino club has achieved before,” Global owner Dan Palami said. “I hope we will be able to put ourselves in a good position to be in the finals.”
Flashing better movement and precision on attack, Global got off to a resounding start with De Murga heading home the opener off Jeff Christiaens’ cross from the left in the 19th minute.
The Filipino international doubled his tally in the 37th minute, finishing off a swift counter-attack with a close-range strike after picking up a brilliant pass from Joshua Beloya.
De Murga’s hat-trick came at the stroke of halftime when Paul Mulders found the Spain-born midfielder bursting into the area for another classy finish.
Global looked to have put the nail on the coffin in the 54th minute when Rufo Sanchez firmly placed a header into the bottom corner after a teasing cross from Joshua Beloya for an unassailable 4-nil advantage.
What followed, however, was a tense and frantic last 35 minutes, which Palami said was the longest of his life as a manager.
Throwing more men on attack, DPMM pulled a goal back in the 62nd minute through a superb volley from Lithuanian forward Arturas Remkivicius. Then Tales dos Santos, a 6-foot-6 Brazilian striker, came off the bench to head home the second goal six minutes later against Ed Sacapano, who replaced the injured Roland Sadia.
With Dos Santos imposing his size inside the box to create chances, Remkivicius got his second goal in the 82nd minute, before Joao Moreira equalized three minutes later.
But Global averted a monumental collapse, and even had chances through Sanchez.