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Global stumbles in Singapore Cup first leg semis clash

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Just like In their quarterfinal series with Geylang International, Global found themselves trailing after the first 90 minutes. This time around, it was Albirex Niigata Singapore who dealt the early blow to the Filipino side. Rion Taki’s 53rd minute strike was enough to separate the two teams in the opening half of the two-legged RHB Singapore Cup semifinals.

The Singapore-based team may have had more chances, but it was Global who threaded the first two chances of the match in the opening seven minutes of action. Misagh Bahadoran was involved in both of those, but the Albirex defense played sharp defense to deter his advances.

After a relatively dull 10 minutes or so, Albirex began to apply serious pressure on the Global back row. Shun Inaba, Fumiya Kogure, and Taki combined to unsuccessfully threaten Deyto, minutes before the hour mark.

With the game still goalless, Mark Hartmann was handed a golden chance to fire his team ahead, but he overshot instead. The half came to an end, not before two wide chances from Taki and Kogure.

Those late chances in the first half by Albirex did them well in the second half. Able to keep momentum on their side, the S-League team claimed their reward at the 53rd minute. Shotaro Ihata freed up Taki with a neat through ball, and the forward made no mistake to give his squad the lead. End to end action followed, as the game opened up, but it took some time before a dangerous shot happened. Kogure had space to shoot, but saw his attempt fly off the mark.

Midway through the second half, Leigh Manson further shuffled the deck. After bringing on Paolo Salenga for OJ Clarion at halftime, the manager called on Dennis Villanueva to replenish the Global charge in lieu of fellow Azkal Paolo Bugas. The change in personnel made Global tick up front and had two good chances to level the score. Mark Hartmann and Bahadoran combined in each of those occasions but couldn’t locate the target with their opportunities.

Towards the end, Taki nearly made things tougher for Global when he almost took full advantage of a defensive error. The forward, however, was not able to control the ball within the playing field. Not long after, the final whistle sounded.

Global trails by a goal heading to the second leg to be played next month. Should they overturn the narrow first leg deficit, they will become the first Filipino side to reach the final of the RHB Singapore Cup. They were able to do so against Geylang, so they may as well be plotting the same come next month against Albirex Niigata Singapore.

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