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Tiebreaker Times

Football

JP Voltes shuts down Global to stay in the hunt


By registering a goal in each half, plus an impressive clean sheet, JP Voltes completed a 2-0 upset victory over the league leaders Global FC during Wednesday afternoon’s only United Football League (match) at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. In doing so, JP Voltes remain in a four-way race to the title.

The eventual winners had the better start in the match, firing multiple shots towards Patrick Deyto. The Global goalkeeper wasn’t truly tested yet, as he only had to make one routine save. Gradually, Global seized the momentum, with Misagh Bahadoran leading the front line. Gathering pace, the UFL Cup champions may have felt disappointed that their efforts in front of goal didn’t result in a score change.

The frustration just intensified for Global 37 minutes into the game, as former Global player Masaki Yanagawa glanced a header off another ex-Global stalwart Yu Hoshide’s cross. It was 1-0 for JP Voltes, who saw out the first half with the slender lead.

Early in the second half, Global’s first choice keeper Deyto had to be taken off as he had picked up an injury. Up stepped another Azkals goalkeeper, Nick O’Donnell, highlighting the depth available for Global. Not even five minutes later, the former Ateneo goalkeeper almost made a costly error. J Baguioro chanced a cheeky chip upon noticing O’Donnell a few meters off his line. Fortunately for the Global goalie, the ball struck the left post and stayed out of his frame.

As the game went on, Global still struggled to break down the organized JP Voltes defense. Things even turned from bad to worse when Bahadoran was shown a straight red card in the 68th minute for a clumsy challenge on Nelson Gasic, the JP Voltes goalkeeper. It added another challenge for Global who then needed to find at least one goal with one man less on the pitch.

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Showing how much they have improved since Global battered them 4-0 in the first round, JP Voltes totally controlled the encounter after the sending-off. Global had opportunities to sniff an equalizer but none proved effective in dismantling JP Voltes. Instead, a second goal arrived in added time for the dark horses of this season, when Odawara’s nifty chip attempt over O’Donnell succeeded. Surely the nail in the coffin in a seven-minute added time period that initially gave hope to Global.

As a result, The People’s Club absorbed their first loss of the season. Nonetheless, they still have a six-point gap to protect from JP Voltes and a game in hand to even stretch it further. Meanwhile, the win gives JP Voltes a one-point edge over Loyola and a three-point lead over Ceres, although it is worth noting that the two teams have two games in hand.

The importance of finishing in the top two, considering Global hangs on, is huge, as it gives the other team the opportunity to play in the AFC Cup. Global have already qualified via winning the UFL Cup.

The other scheduled match of the day, featuring Forza and Stallion, was not played after Forza failed to show up in time to face Stallion, who will receive a walkover 3-0 win.

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