Global opens UFL title defense with 2-0 win
MANILA, Philippines – Defending United Football League (UFL) champion Global banked on its new recruits to hack out a 2-nil win over a stubborn Pasargad side on Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Without Azkals Patrick Reichelt, Jeff Christiaens, Marwin and Marvin Angeles, and Matt Uy, Global found new heroes in Nino Ochotorena and Ben Starosta.
The defending champion had a hard time breaking down Pasargad's defense in the first half. All it took was a perfect cross from Misagh Bahadoran to an open Ochotorena one minute into the stoppage time of the first half.
Adjusting well to Pasargad’s tough defense, Global continued to press its attack and it was rewarded with another conversion. This time, from Starosta, who headed home a Yu Hoshide corner.
The two-goal victory gave Global's Scottish coach Brian Reid a rousing debut in the UFL. Reid, who is the fifth coach of Global, in the last two years, was satisfied with the fine showing of his boys, especially the newcomers.
"We want to play an attacking game and credit goes to the boys. I am satisfied with the two goals," said the 42-year old Reid.
Pasargad's goal keeper Reza Ataei shot his team on its foot with his theatrical and dirty tactics that allowed Global to seize control. Ataei had run-ins with Bahadoran, Izzo El Habib and among others in a highly-physical match.
Global team owner Dan Palami, however, is impressed with Pasargad's improvement especially after coming off a runner up finish in the PFF-Smart National Championship Club.
"Marami silang papahirapan. Their defense was tough. But we adjusted in the sec ond half. We didn't really need to have a good passing game," said Palami, who skipped the Myanmar trip as he is not feeling well. "All we needed to do was to chip the ball at the back."
Global took the game to Pasargad in the second half. The win earned the defending league champion full three point tied with rival Loyola Meralco Sparks as early leaders.