Global eleven pips Navy
CARLI de Murga rifled home a long-range rocket right at the death to lift undermanned Global to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Navy Red Juice last night and back to the top in the United Football League at the University of Makati field.
Given time and space, the Fil-Spanish midfielder scored on an unstoppable shot from 25 yards out in the sixth minute of second-half stoppage time as Global capped a stirring comeback from a goal down in the last 13 minutes and extended its winning run to six games.
Global controlled the game for long stretches and had the better scoring chances only to be pushed to the brink by a determined Navy side heading into the final minutes of the match.
Global, which missed brothers Angel and Juani Guirado, who took a leave from the team to attend to personal matters in Spain, also gave coach Edwin Cabalida a winning start to his career with the team. The national team assistant mentor, however, said his squad was lucky to escape with the win.
“We wasted so many attempts and were complacent defensively,” said Cabalida, who steered Air Force to the title last season before retiring from the service. “We got lucky with that goal from Carli (De Murga).”
Trailing 1-2, Global quickly got back into the game as Alex Obiang scored on a half-volley after Navy failed to clear its line, setting the stage for a pulsating finish.
The victory allowed Global to take the provisional lead with 24 points, ahead of Loyola, which also needed a late goal to dispatch Pasargad, 1-0, last Saturday.
Navy, coming off its first win in league play the last two years, flirted with the biggest upset of the season when substitute Daniel Gonzales cooly finished off a swift counter-attacking move in the 77th minute.
Navy midfielder Stephen Burda, the player Gonzales substituted, canceled out Izo El-Habbib’s first-half strike with a curling shot from 30 yards in the 66th minute.
It was a sublime finish by Burda, who used the outside of his foot in scoring one of the best goals of the season so far.
But the game ended in heartbreak for the Sailors, who remained at the bottom with four points on a win, a draw and eight losses.