Global zeroes in on UFL crownBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MATCHES MONDAY (University of Makati)
4 p.m.—Navy vs Green Archers Globe
6 p.m.—Pasargad vs Army
UNRELENTING on attack, Global moved on the brink of clinching the United Football League title after a 4-0 drubbing of Air Force Phoenix yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Izzo El-Habbib scored twice for the second straight match, while Alex Obiang and Patrick Reichelt also found the back of the net for Global, which reclaimed top spot with 41 points—two ahead of Kaya—with a game remaining.
Global’s victory also shut the door on the Loyola Meralco Sparks, whose late season struggles continued with a 2-2 draw against Nomads Auction Manila Friday night.
Global can seal the title with a win over Loyola on Tuesday or a loss by Kaya to Stallion. A draw could also be enough for the Dan Palami-managed Global side even if Kaya wins as the former UFL Cup champions holds a superior goal difference.
The Sparks, who have dropped five points from their last two matches, were hoping for a Global loss yesterday, but with El-Habbib in the groove, they were left disappointed.
El-Habbib doubled the lead with a fine individual in the 24th minute, before doubling his tally in the 61st minute to make it 3-0 for Global, which stretched its unbeaten run to 12 games this season.
The only blot to what was a solid performance by Global was the dismissal of winger Misagh Bahadoran, who was red carded for his excessive celebration from the bench on El-Habbib’s first goal. Bahadoran will sit out the match against Loyola due to suspension.
Loyola struggled to control the match in the opening half without skipper James Younghusband, who was missed the game because of suspension for incurring three yellow cards this season.
Phil Younghusband almost gave the Sparks the lead early on when his curling shot hit the post.
The Sparks finally broke through courtesy of Mark Hartmann, who made no mistake from close range after he was set up by a cutback from Phil Younghusband in the 48th minute.
Nomads quickly responded with a David Denison penalty 10 minutes later, before Byeong Jyeong Yeol restored the Sparks’ advantage, scoring off a corner kick. But the Sparks’ inability to put away their chances came back to haunt them as Steve Borril struck just inside the box in the 90th minute for the equalizer.