Nazari fires 3 as Global batters Pasargad
SWEDISH first-division veteran Omid Nazari lived up to the hype, netting a hat trick on his debut to propel Global past Pasargad, 7-0, Saturday night at the start of the United Football League Cup at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Given a free role on attack, Nazari proved clinical inside the box as Global tore Pasargad to shreds with its enterprising play to gain top spot in Group B.
Hikaru Minegishi got two goals after Izzo El-Habbib opened the scoring in the third minute while Dennis Villanueva capped the rout with a late strike.
But the spotlight fell on the Filipino-Iranian Nazari who added dynamism to a Global attack that looked blunted for the majority of last season.
“Omid gives us a little extra dimension in that role that we’ve asked him to play,” said Global coach Leigh Manson. “Now it’s about making sure that he can do that for 90 minutes because there’s no question that his understanding and knowledge of the game is very high.”
Nazari set up Minegishi with a headed pass in the 15th minute before the 24-year-old opened his account with a low drive from 10 yards. A deflected volley from just outside the box in the 61st minute gave Nazari his second and Global’s fifth goal of the night.
Substitute Marco Casambre teed up Nazari for his hat trick by directing the leftback’s cross into the bottom corner.
“I feel happy, its a good start for me,” Nazari said. “It’s a challenge for me [playing here] and I have to adapt. But I feel confident now.”
Later, JP Voltes launched its campaign in style by overwhelming second division champion Laos, 3-0, in Group A.
Japanese midfielder Takashi Odawara scored the first goal—a fierce volley off a corner in the 19th minute and assisted on the second goal of William Espinosa.
Kevin Skinker wrapped up the win at the 76th minute, heading home a corner from former Global skipper Yu Hoshide.
Global took the lead three minutes into the game when a cross from Misagh Bahadoran found El-Habbib unmarked at the far post. The Sudanese striker fired past goalkeeper Hayeson Pepito.
“Seven unanswered goals is good enough and our players are getting sharper,” said Manson.
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