Global deals Loyola first loss; Army nips Socceroo
MANILA, Philippines – After a long break during the Philippine National Men’s Football Team’s series of friendlies last week, fans were treated to a titanic matchup as Global FC halted the previously unbeaten Loyola Meralco Sparks, 3-2, in the 2014 United Football League, Saturday, March 8 at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig City.
Mark Hartmann delivered the knockout blow against his former squad as he drilled in the winner 80 minutes into the match to close the gap between Global and league-leaders Loyola to just a solitary point.
After being walloped by the Sparks in their first meeting this season, coach Leigh Manson’s side controlled the tempo this time as they cruised to a 2-0 lead courtesy of Milad Behgandom’s opening goal in the 43rd and newly-signed German Rodriguez’s header in the 61st minute.
Loyola, however, turned things around midway in the second half as Paolo Bugas connected with Lee Joo Young for a 63rd minute goal while Phil Younghusband, who failed to find the back of the net for the Philippines in their last two matches, scored on a 68th minute penalty to tie the match at 2-all.
Just a couple of days after landing in Manila from their two-legged tour last week, Hartmann showed no signs of fatigue as he pinched in a late-game winner to move Global to 25 points while Loyola manages to cling onto the top spot of the table with 26.
In the day’s curtain-raiser, Philippine Army – GTI FC remains on a comfortable fifth position after edging Team Socceroo, 2-1, with Ricardo Becite and John Cain scoring the goals.
The Armed Forces side built up enough cushion within the first hour of the match as Becite opened the scoring in the 31st while Cain doubled their lead 60 minutes into the game to run away with the full three points despite Stanley Ankrah’s last-gasp 85th minute goal for Socceroo.
Army increased their tally to 13 points from four wins, a draw and five losses while Team Socceroo drops their seventh game in 11 matches, with only six points to show so far in the season.
Team Socceroo will have a tough next assignment as they go up against reigning champs Stallion FC while Army faces the in-form Global FC, both games on March 13.
Loyola, meanwhile, will try to bounce back against Pasargad on March 11. - Rappler.com