Analyzing the Global-Pasargad match
by rick olivares
Even without key players and their head coach, Global still had a potent squad on the field. The surprise package that Pasargad unveiled against Loyola days earlier meant that they would not find Global napping.
The first 20 minutes of the match saw both teams struggle for form and control of the ball. Yet almost from the get go, Pasargad’s weakness was obvious. The lack of effective wing play meant that Pasargad funneled the ball through the midfield where they hoped that a perfectly placed through ball by Hamed Ohadi would send Shayan Jafaridastjerdi going up against Jerome Sylvain Etoundi who has filled in magnificently for the injured Paolo Pascual. It worked as Etoundi tripped up Shayan for a penalty shot.
Soroush Zalmoo beat Etoundi but referee Emmanuel Elloso correctly whistled Ohadi for encroachment. Zalmoo’s second penalty shot totally lack conviction as it spun away wide. The miss was huge as instead of putting Pasargad up both teams were even and Global had dodged a bullet. And that changed the game plan for Global.
Once Global simply bottled up the midfield of Pasargad with Valentine Kama disrupting the flow of the ball, their offense began to hum.
The forward pass from left back David Basa to Misagh Bahadoran wasn’t there and the ball moved to central midfield where Alex Obiang fed Bahadoran for a beautiful series of moves to beat five red shirts for the first goal (Izzo El Habbib pounced on the rebound of Bahadoran’s shot). Later, Obiang found Patrick Reichelt on the right wing who unloaded a wicked shot that beat Abdollah Golkhah.
Obiang was later rewarded for his hard work when El Habbib found him with a cross and a goal. Reichelt closed out the scoring with a corner shot that Golkhah misplayed.
At one point while doing the television analysis with anchor Aaron Atayde, I noted that Pasargad, in an effort to pull back a goal from a two-goal deficit, they only left one defender in the back. I remember saying that on a quick counter, they were going to get burned. And one cue, Global launched one and scored.
In their next play, Pasargad left three defenders. But the damage had been done.
One of Global’s strengths is their wing play and speed; something that is wholly lacking in Pasargad’s arsenal. For sure they upgraded their offense but the lack of wing play with crossed making life easier for their forwards, hurts them.
Pasargad is a work in process and will no doubt upgrade. But Global, now on their eighth straight win (while scoring 27 goals in the process) look like the hot favorites to win it all. And to think that they do not have a complete lineup just yet.