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Dominant Global falls prey to late Geylang goal

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Chances were plenty for Global FC in their 2015 Singapore Cup quarterfinal first leg affair with Geylang International, but a rare Singaporean attacking sequence settled matters at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight. Jozef Kaplan found the back of the net three minutes before time to give his team a narrow 1-0 cushion when they square off against the Philippine side on Sunday’s second leg.

It was a tight in the opening quarter of an hour in the match. Mark Hartmann making his intentions known three minutes in but his ambitious attempt sailed harmlessly over the bar. Geylang had a chance to put their feet forward in the encounter but Manzur squandered his try from close range two minutes later. After Global failed to complete a promising play, Geylang nearly made them pay. Shawal struck the woodwork before Kento looped the ball beyond Reynald Sadia and the goal. It was a tense moment for Global, who became more aggressive afterwards.

The Filipino team has been keen to put their troubles at home behind and a positive result will surely relieve all of that. Azkal standouts Daisuke Sato, Misagh Bahadoran, and Mark Hartmann designed plays to unlock the organized Geylang defense. Timing their passing and runs has not been that effective as they were frustrated by the offside flag on multiple occasions. Halftime arrived with both teams still not on the scoresheet.

When play resumed, Global wasted no time in sustaining their aggression. Mark Hartmann led the attacking barrage. Two of his three shots in the opening six second half minutes were blocked and the other was off target. There also came a Bahadoran volley that was saved. The Filipinos thought that they were rewarded with a goal at the hour mark. The younger of Hartmann brothers managed to see the ball go into the net, but grew quickly disappointed as the linesman disallowed it for offside. Not long after, his brother Matt was kept out for what was a fruitless corner.

At the 63rd minute, Geylang came up with a goal scoring opportunity against the run of play. Sadia and the Global makeshift backline marshalled by Jerry Barbaso, Masaki Yanagawa, Dennis Villanueva and Norio Suzuki absorbed dangerous spells twice within the next seven minutes of action. Play settled down a bit and Global introduced two changes to replenish their attacking charge. OJ Clarino and Paolo Salenga came on, eyeing to change the score in Global’s favor. Instead, it was Geylang who dealt the killer blow. Kaplan made the Filipinos pay for poor marking and earned his team a valuable goal to Sunday’s all-important second leg.

Global, surely felt hard done by the defensive lapse towards the game’s conclusion, now have the mighty task of overturning the narrow deficit if they are to avert a strange season without trophies. — LGT

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