Global rises; Meralco fallsBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Fluid on attack, reigning league champion Global stormed into the quarterfinals of the United Football League Cup with a 4-0 blanking of Navy Saturday night, even as Pachanga Diliman stunned fancied Loyola Meralco, 2-1, at University of Makati field.
Cameroonian striker Alex Obiang scored two goals, while Izzo El-Habbib and Kevin Capolei also found the back of the net as Global notched its third win to rise to 10 points, a tally that could prove enough for top spot in Group A.
“We hope to continue the form we’ve been showing,” said Global team manager Dan Palami. “There were still some lapses that we need to improve on, but we look forward to a better showing in the quarterfinals.”
While the league titlists expectedly dominated the Sailors with their quick passing and movement, another powerhouse side, Loyola, struggled to find its form against the second-division champions despite the presence of national players Phil and James Younghusband.
The Sparks took the lead through Korean midfielder Jeong Byeong-yeol at the stroke of halftime, but goals by Ernest Appiah and Ariel Zerrudo completed the comeback for Pachanga-Diliman, which vaulted to the top of Group C on goal difference.
The loss put the Sparks’ quarterfinal bid in peril with Loyola needing to win its remaining two matches, including one against Nomads tomorrow, to stand a chance of reaching the knockout stage.
El-Habbib broke the deadlock just before halftime, slotting home Obiang’s saved effort. With Navy on its heels, Obiang doubled the advantage from the penalty spot a minute into the second half, before scoring his second with another close-range strike five minutes later.
Lively on the flank, Capolei duly converted a penalty in the 58th minute to complete the scoring for Global, which followed up its 11-0 rout of Socceroo.
Pasargad kept its hopes alive of reaching the quarterfinals after beating Socceroo, 8-0, in another Group A clash. The win set up Pasargad’s last group match against second-running General Trias into a do-or-die affair on Oct. 30.
The quarterfinal picture in Group B remains hazy with Green Archers, Kaya and Forza figuring in the race for the two quarterfinal spots.