Global sneaks past Ceres, tops ledger
Global sustained its relentless charge to the United Football League Cup quarterfinals with a stunning 2-1 victory over fierce rival Ceres-La Salle on Thursday night at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
In a battle between the two most recent league champions, it was 2014 winner Global which came out on top thanks to a superb strike from Matthew Hartmann in the 77th minute.
It was Ceres’ first loss of the campaign but a superior goal difference gave the Bacolod side top spot in Group B with 12 points. Global also finished with 12 points.
The Ceres-Global clash pitted national team players against each other. And the Azkals refused to pull punches with Stephan Schrock booked for a late challenge on Daisuke Sato. Later, Global captain Misagh Bahadoran was also yellow-carded for clipping Schrock.
Given time and space outside the box, Hartmann rifled home the winner to the bottom corner, beating Ceres keeper Michael Casas as Global rallied from a goal down to secure its fourth win in five games.
Martin Steuble put Ceres on top in the eighth minute with a long-range effort, but Global’s Serbian defender Milan Nikolic equalized nine minutes before the break on a set piece.
“It’s a very satisfying win,” said Global coach Leigh Manson. “The players worked hard for 90 minutes. It’s all about refusing to lose.”
Bracing for its AFC Cup home debut on Tuesday, Kaya recorded a comprehensive 6-0 victory over Forza in a Group A tussle.
Robert Lopez Mendy netted a hat trick while Kenshiro Daniels bagged a brace as Kaya notched its fourth straight win to clinch at least second spot.
Kaya plays Maldives’ New Radiant on Tuesday at RMS.
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