An intense Division 1 United Football League match occurred as Global FC battled it out with Manila Jeepney FC to level with a 2-2 stalemate on Saturday, July 18, at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The start of the first half saw Global FC on the offensive. Closing in on a goal was Misagh Bahadoran, who received a cross from defender Daisuke Sato, only for the it to be called offside. The attempt was quickly redeemed by teammate Hikaru Minegishi who led the ball to Izo Elhabib, thus giving Global the first score of the match, 0-1.
This caused Jeepney to push for assertive counterattacks at the 10th minute. The men in white kept control of the ball and made plenty of opportunities to score, but were often denied by Global’s defense. However, they managed to stand their ground on any incoming attacks as Ray Joseph Joyel cleared off a Minegishi attempt at the 11th minute.
Chances from free kicks were abound during the following minutes as both teams inched their way to get a score. In the 21st minute, a free kick from Amita was blocked by Global keeper Patrick Deyto. The next opportunity had midfielder Jason Dantes in a similar fashion, only to for Joyel to intercept the ball.
Jeepney’s perseverance paid off at the 29th minute when Kouffi Kouassi went on the offensive and breezed the ball past Deyto, thus levelling the score to 1-1. Right after the goal, both Gary Epesso and Kouassi pushed their way into the opposing side to score; but this time, Deyto managed to block their attempts. Such aggression engaged Jeepney to push close to the net. Suddenly, at the 36th minute, an error from Casambre gave Jeepney a huge window of opportunity, which Eric Giganto took advantage of and shot a goal, giving Jeepney the lead.
Regardless of the current outcome and a more offensive play from the well-rested Los Manileños, Global kept their cool and regained momentum to get into a scoring mode until halftime concluded with a score of 2-1.
The second half began in a fast pace, yet Jeepney’s aggression was steadily losing control, from a sudden yellow card given to Reymart Cubon. Despite a plethora of very close chances, Global’s campaign slowly but thoroughly picked up steam. The first of which was a free kick from Matthew Hartmann at the 57th minute, and the following attempts happened in a few minutes past the hour-mark, by Paolo Bugas who was close to barging through with very strong shots. Jeepney’s goalkeeper efficiently managed to ward off these attacks from Global. However, Joyel’s chain of blocking was broken by a goal from Daisuke Sato, giving Global the equalizer at the 81st minute. The men in white battled on to score once more from another attempt by Kouassi, only for Deyto to graze through the goal post and deny Jeepney of a point. The final whistle sounded and the match ended with a tie, 2-2.
Global FC head coach Leigh Manson shared of his concerns towards his team’s recent performance. ”It’s becoming a recurring story, it’s something we need to deal with. In the first half, Jeepney just out-fought us, they wanted it more, they were winning second balls… I am a bit disappointed for having a better second half than first half. That has been the story for the last three games. He commended Sato on taking the initiative to challenge the opponent’s play. He also stated that the team needs pick themselves up and improve their play for the upcoming games. ”It’s back to the training ground; making sure do with the second balls and we do finish on these opportunities,” he concluded.
The People’s Club will try to showcase their offensive prowess on July 25 against the Green Archers United FC. While Jeepney will face Kaya on July 22.