Undermanned Global grabs UFL lead
Younghusbands-less Loyola survives
MANILA, Philippines – Global bucked the absence of seven of their national players to squeeze out a hard earned 1-0 win over Stallion Sta. Lucia Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in McKinley Hill, Taguig to grab the solo lead in the United Football League.
Without Azkals mainstays Marwin Angeles, Misagh Bahadoran, Jeffrey Christiaens, Carli de Murga, Patrick Reichelt, Matthew Uy, and Jason de Jong, who was loaned from Stallion for the AFC President's Cup in May, Global turned to Sudanese striker Izzo Elhabib win the epic clash of champions.
The seven Azkals skipped the match to focus on the national team’s participation in the AFC Challenge Cup group stages that will kick-off over the weekend but Global still found a way to survive.
In the battle of the league and cup champions last season, Elhabib’s header off Yu Hoshide's corner kickin the 78th minute proved to be the biggest difference in the match that kept defending league champion Global spotless in the tournament.
Global put the clamps on Stallion’s Spanish striker Rufo Sanchez, the tournament’s leading goal scorer with six, to streak to its seventh straight win good for 21 points.
The reigning cup champion Stallion, meanwhile, dipped to third spot with 16 points as it saw its six-match winning streak snapped.
Loyola Meralco Sparks vaulted to solo second after blanking Green Archers United Globe, 2-0, in the curtain-raiser.
Despite also missing the services of their star players – the Younghusband brothers to national team duties and Freddy Gonzales to injury – the Sparks still overwhelmed the free falling Archers, who also missed national team skipper Chieffy Caligdong.
Korean import Jeong Byeong Yeol and Fil-Brit Mark Hartmann provided the goals for the Sparks, who earned their 19th point with their sixth win against a lone draw.
The Archers fell to their second straight loss after drawing with Phil. Army two weeks ago. They remained tied with PSG at the seventh spot only four points to show so far after seven matches (1-1-5 win-draw-loss).