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Global exit Singapore Cup in semis defeat to Albirex Niigata Singapore



Determined to erase the deficit they had been facing ahead of this encounter, Global performed bravely but fell ultimately short of reaching the Singapore Cup finals. The Filipinos were beaten 2-1 on the night at Jurong East Stadium, with goals from Atsushi Kawata and Rion Taki coming before and after Matthew Hartmann’s inspiring game-leveller.

The match began with both teams eager to find the back of the net away. As early as the opening minute, Albirex’s Fumiya Kogure attempted a shot off target. Six minutes later, Misagh Bahadoran broke away from the pack but couldn’t get past Yosuke Nozawa. That miss ended up costing them, as the Singapore-based Japanese side did not waste their next chance. Kogure teamed up with Kawata, who slotted the ball to double their advantage in the tie.

Falling further behind, Global went aggressively for an equalizer. As the hungrier team, The People’s Club had most of the opportunities thereafter. At the 18th minute, Daisuke Sato headed Bahadoran’s cross wide. Six minutes after, Bahadoran saw his shot deflected out for a fruitless corner. The attacks intensified but Global were unable to change the score by halftime. Mark Hartmann and Bahadoran had good looks but neither could bulge the net with the ball.

In the second half, the Global juggernaut resumed action. Nozawa was called into action following shots on target from Mark Hartmann and Bahadoran. The leading team also had their chances, courtesy of Itsuki Yamada, who was unable to replicate the achievement of Kawata. Twenty-four minutes before time, Matthew Hartmann gave Global hope by punching in the rebound off his brother’s effort. There was all to play for again after that moment, which was nearly followed by another goal in less than 60 seconds. Bahadoran fired his shot on goal but only straight towards Nozawa.

A dull 10 minutes in terms of chance creation followed, as both teams eased new players into the field. Among all substitutes, Taki made the biggest difference. His decisive touch from Kawata’s low cross all but secured their passage to the finals. With just seven minutes remaining, Global couldn’t get themselves back into the match. The firm defense of Albirex did not allow them to add a twist to the plot. Consequently, they will go up against Brunei DPMM in a battle for third place next week.