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Global fend off Manila Jeepney to score second UFL Cup win



Global FC continued to rule Group D by hammering Manila Jeepney FC, 4-1, in the battle of two UFL Division I sides Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The first clear-cut chance in the match came care of Mark Hartmann, who opened the scoring by launching a sweet shot from outside the box to put his team ahead. Jeepney tried to erase the deficit as soon as possible and they thought they did just a minute later. Nicolas Ferrer Jr. thought he scored the equalizer but the linesman adjudged him offside, much to the relief of Global. Another chance for Jeepney arrived courtesy of Michael Amora, but his effort was dealt with by Global goalkeeper Patrick Deyto. Yet just right after that, Global orchestrated a brilliant sequence to split the Jeepney defense. Even if he had space to beat Manila Jeepney keeper Arjay Joyel, Mark Hartmann decided to feed the ball to Yu Hoshide who tapped the ball into the net to double Global’s lead.

At two-nil up, Global remained dominant in the match and seemed more likely to score the game’s next goal. Hartmann brothers, Matthew and Mark, spearheaded the charge. Both of them attempted to score from inside the box at the 20th minute, but the Jeepney defenders were able to get their bodies in between the shots and the goal. Three minutes later, Misagh Bahadoran set up Mark with a wonderful cross from the right wing. The ex-Loyola midfielder did get his ball onto the pass but it only struck the post before Khosro Safarian Siahmazgi managed to clear the ball off the line just before Norio Suzuki attempted to slot home the rebound. Mark was in the thick of things once more at the 25th minute when he tried to score off Bahadoran’s pass. Unfortunately for him, defender Rodrigue Nembot Talla was there to stifle his shot.

Amidst plenty of Global chances came one for Manila Jeepney. Ferrer had his shot initially blocked by Jahanbakhsh Zabihi Taher before his second attempt was almost spilled by Deyto, only for Daisuke Sato to clear the ball away from danger. Shortly, the UFL League Champions were on the attack again with Mark’s delivery to Bahadoran, who was unable to test Joyel inside the box. It may have been 3-0 at the hour mark had the Global captain made his chance count. Instead, it was the trailing side who soon found the back of the net. Manila Jeepney halved the deficit with 15 minutes to go in the first half when N’gan Koffi Desmos Arthur Kouassi robbed the ball from Zabihi Taher inside the Global box before clinically striking the ball into the onion bag.

After conceding, Global aimed to cushion their lead again before the break. Mark Hartmann squandered two chances, which on another day may have been goals for the seemingly omnipresent midfielder. Meanwhile, Jeepney, who found themselves down by just a goal, also had two good chances from Jamal Dalir Lord but neither of his opportunities altered the score as well. With a minute plus stoppage time left in the opening half, Global’s Matthew Hartmann sneaked in a well-timed through ball towards OJ Clarino’s path. The former Stallion talisman then gathered enough composure to slide the ball away from Joyel’s reach and into the goal to make it 3-1.

After the interval, Global used offense as their best tool to keep Manila Jeepney from finding gaps in the back line. It proved effective as the men in blue created wave after wave of opportunities, but nearly all of which were put to waste. Just like in the first half, Mark Hartmann pummelled the exhausted Manila Jeepney squad, who only had to play with one substitute throughout the match. The British-born Filipino came closest five minutes after halftime with a shot that was met by Joyel. The Global dominance yielded a solitary goal though, which came at the 75th minute. Bahadoran sent a low cross towards Izo Elhabib who scored Global’s fourth by smacking the woodwork and in. Afterwards, it was a quiet game with no big chances arriving for each side until full time.

I thought we’re a little bit sluggish,” Global coach Leigh Manson commented. “We don’t want to make excuses. Jeepney, since the last time we played them, were a little bit tighter, a little bit more disciplined but we still missed a lot of chances,” he added while citing heat as a factor that may bothered most of his players. “We were creating chances and we’re not putting them away. That reflects in the score line,” Manson furthered.

Sluggish as it may look for Manson, the win still puts Global ahead in Group D with six points and will stay there should Forza not lose to Laos, a game which is ongoing as of press time. Up next for Global is a match against former Division I fellows Nomads on Saturday, May 16, at 8:30 PM. Also on the same day, Manila Jeepney will aim for their first win when they collide with Forza at 6:15 in the evening.