Games of two halves look like the newest trend in the UFL Cup 2015, with Global FC becoming the most recent team who have won in such manner. They scored eight in the second half to complete a 10-0 hammering of Nomads FC to conclude Saturday night’s action at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
For the third game running, Global ran the show as expected. The defending United Football League (UFL) champions immediately brought men forward straight from kick-off to signify their determination to score as early as possible. Zabihi Taher ignited early for Global, getting two chances only for both to sail off target. The first one came three minutes into the game, his header off Mark Hartmann’s free kick striking the crossbar. Seven minutes later, Taher had space to shoot from the edge of the box but he could not get his shot down, resulting in a goal kick for Nomads.
The club in green-and-white stripes hardly got to penetrate Global in the opening 10 minutes but as their opponents moved forward more often, Nomads were able to put the Global defense on their toes. Fifteen minutes in, Benjamin Tolete won a corner for Nomads, which led to teammate Matthew Custodio’s corner being cleared by Izo Elhabbib. Matthew and Mark Hartmann, OJ Clarino, Yu Hoshide, and Renato Gonzales all had a crack in breaking down the stubborn Nomads defense, which conceded seven in their last match against Laos FC. After several unsuccessful attempts, Matthew Hartmann timed his ball well to Elhabbib who kept his composure to score against Nomads goalkeeper Enrique Ortiz to earn Global a deserved lead.
After leading, Global kept on moving forward in pursuit of an insurance goal at the minimum before halftime. Elhabbib nearly doubled his goalscoring tally on the night but his volley off a Mark Hartmann free kick soared inches over the bar with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half. Into the last five minutes of the first half, Global had two good chances to make it 2-0. The first one was an Elhabbib shot blocked by Ortiz at the 40th minute while the other was a long-range Mark Hartmann attempt that did not hit the mark. In danger of going to the break with only a solitary lead, Mark Hartmann mimicked his most recent attempt at the second minute of added time. Unlike the earlier attempt, it went in by slipping off the hands of Ortiz. Hence, Global took a 2-0 lead at the interval.
Sensing they could have gotten more than just two in the opening period, Global tried to make up for it by being doubly aggressive on offense. All but one chance fell in favor of Global, who have yet to score more than four in one game in the UFL Cup 2015 prior to this match. Before the hour mark, Global had a handful of good chances but none of them really made Nomads pay. With momentum on their side, Global kept pushing and the prize for their unwavering efforts arrived at the hour mark. Elhabbib teed up Mark Hartmann inside the box with the Philippine international scoring a welcome third. The first goal scored in the second half opened the floodgates for Global, who managed to put in six more until the end. At the 62nd minute, Mark Hartmann played provider in Norio Suzuki’s goal. Ten minutes later, Mark Hartmann scored two quick goals less than a minute apart to net his third and fourth goals of the game. After working his way forward throughout the match, Matthew Hartmann also scored at the 78th minute to make it a seven-goal lead for Global.
That may be enough for some but a relentless Global squad kept on going for more goals. Suzuki secured his brace at the 81st minute to make it eight before Daisuke Sato created one for himself to make it nine just before added time. With Nomads torn apart, Mark Hartmann finished off Global’s last attacking sequence to register his fifth of the match, exactly half of his team’s goals.
Speaking after the match, Global coach Leigh Manson found the first half dissatisfying. “It’s not much about the score for us. You saw that from the Pahang game that we weren’t sharp in the box. First five minutes were exactly the same. We’re creating but not putting the ball into the net,” he pinpointed. Just like how different the first half is from the second half, Manson expressed delight in the way his team played the latter period. “We have to set high standards for our players. That’s why when we’re 5-0 up, we don’t take our foot of the gas,”Manson emphasized.
Global’s last group stage game will be against Laos, which is originally scheduled on the 26th of May. A conflict in schedule, however, may have it rescheduled. Hence, nothing is finalized until further notice in Group D–which includes other games such as Nomads’.