Global boot Nomads from club championships
MANILA, Philippines – Global FC turned on the jets in the second half of play to boot Nomads out of the PFF-Smart National Club Championships with a 2-1 victory last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
"I am pleased, but I don’t think the quality of the game was as good as I liked," said new Global coach Brian Reid. "I've only had them for three days, and I think they're rusty because of the holidays."
Both clubs appeared sluggish in the first half, but it was Global that looked more menacing on offense, with Izzo El Habbib being denied on goal twice by the airtight Nomads defense.
Nomads' offense sputtered, however, when forward and leading scorer Steven Borrill left the match early in the first half following a leg injury. Already missing injured midfielder Phil Connolly, Nomads did not have much going on offense, save for the occasional forays of new acquisition Fidelis Nnabuife.
Global, with Reid patrolling the touchline for his first match on Philippine soil, reorganized its offense following a scoreless first half.
Spying an opportunity in the 71st minute, Redi had right back Jerry Barbaso fire a forward pass to speedy midfielder Patrick Reichelt, whose one-touch pass found El Habbib up front. The Sudanese striker's deft flick found Reichelt on the overlap, who dribbled some before launching a cross inside the box.
Global’s first shot was denied, but Carli de Murga fired away from outside the box into an empty net as Nomads keeper Friso Klok inexplicably rushed out.
In the 82nd minute, Global left winger Jeffrey Christiaens tried to find a teammate inside the box with a corner kick, but to the horror of Nomads, defender Sam Fogg mistakenly headed it in for an own goal to make it 2-0.
The gaffe was costly because in the second minute of stoppage time, Nomads newcomer Bafio Magassa scored on a penalty after a handball inside the box by Global defender Ange Guisso.
Nomads tried to mount one last attack, but their lack of a coherent midfield meant that their sortie fizzled out as Global emerged a 2-1 winner.
Reid expects Global to show improved form in their next matches.
"They'll certainly improve when I work with them on a daily basis," he said. "I think it’s a soft penalty (Magassa's goal off a penalty), but the game could have been more comfortable for us."
"It's a costly own goal," rued Nomads' Connolly. "But we've got new players and a new system of play. It's not a bad loss, especially to a team like Global."
"Hopefully, we can make our adjustments and be healthy in time for the UFL," he added.
By virtue of its win, Global will be playing Visayas powerhouse Ceres, who knocked out UFL Cup champions Stallion with a 2-1 win earlier Sunday.
The win-or-go-home quarterfinals will be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on January 19.