There is still life in Global Cebu Football Club’s 2018 AFC Cup campaign after all
In a game that felt like a stay of execution for Global, late goals from Darryl Roberts and Rufo Sanchez helped Marjo Allado’s men edge out Myanmar’s Yangon United, 2-1, Tuesday night at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
The Cebu-based club’s first win increases their tally to 4 points. Global still have a chance to top Group G and seal outright qualification to the next round, although other results in the group have to go their way. On the other hand, Yangon still lead Group G with 9 points.
“What’s important for us at the moment is we win, we get the three points to bring back the confidence of the players. And also for my two strikers (Roberts and Sanchez), they unlocked the scoring already because for the past three games, they only have attempts but they cannot put the ball at the net,” said Global coach Allado. “But I’m happy tonight that we get the three points and the two strikers also score.”
A goalless first half ensued. Sanchez was predictably the home side’s most dangerous player, and he had two early chances that were easily saved by Yangon goalkeeper Sann Sat Naing.
Both sides were on equal footing in the period. Yangon’s Japanese midfielder Kosuke Yamazaki saw his free kick hit the Global wall, while Phyo Zaw forced a good save from Global goalkeeper and skipper Patrick Deyto.
It was a similar story in the second half. The two squads went back and forth against each other. Deyto made another fine stop to deny Yangon forward Aee Soe. At the other end of the pitch, Sann Sat Naing performed routine saves against Sanchez and Roberts.
With only 10 minutes left on the clock, Global finally found a way to break the deadlock. The home side had a free kick deep in the opposition half. Dominic Del Rosario then provided a good ball into the Yangon box, and Roberts headed the ball into the back of the net.
Roberts’ goal provided Global a chance for salvation, but his team’s joy was short-lived. Mg Mg Lwin found himself unmarked in the home side’s box and calmly struck at the 90th minute to level the game.
Mg Mg Lwin’s goal should have earned Yangon a well-deserved point and ended Global’s chances of progression to the next round. However, there was a sting in the tale. Japanese referee Takuto Okubo spotted a foul in the Yangon box, and Sanchez slotted home the penalty with what was virtually the last kick of the game.
“As I said after the last game, we had a mountain to climb but it’s not impossible. Anything is possible in football,” Roberts shared. “We knew tonight coming into the game that we had to get the three points that was necessary. Until the last five minutes of the game, we kept on pushing for that goal.
“A bit unlucky that we conceded but at the end of the night the three points were necessary and it’s important for our progress onto the next game in the AFC Cup and hopefully we can take this step forward and continue on a victorious run,” he furthered.
Global will look to add to this win against Vietnam’s FLC Thanh Hoa Football Club on April 11, 7:30 PM at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. FLC defeated Global 1-0 the last time both teams squared off in matchday one, and the latter would no doubt be hungry to redeem itself.
Global XI: Deyto (C, GK), Lee, Rufo, Del Rosario, Barbaso, Roberts, Bugas, Marasigan, Angeles, Gadia, Dos Santos.
Yangon XI: P. Phyo Zaw, David Htan, Mg Mg Lwin, Kzin Oo, Kosuke, M.Kyaw Khant, Y. Aung Kyaw (C), Aee Soe, Moukailou, S.Sat Naing, Emmanuel