story and pic by rick olivares
Global displayed fine form, skill, speed, discipline, and firepower in destroying Pasargad, 3-1, last night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium to seize the early lead in the 2012 UFL Cup.
With its bevy of national players who were flush with confidence from winning the Peace Cup, Global swiftly stamped its mastery on the pitch with stifling defense in the midfield despite the steady rain.
The 2012 UFL champions routinely stripped new Pasargad acquisitions Josh Boone, Promise Jolomi, and Amin Nefasty of the ball making it difficult for strikers Masood Shedideh and Emmanuel Mbata to receive the ball. It took Pasargad close to six minutes before they could even get the ball into the final third but holding midfielder Matthew Uy aided by the tough back four of Jerry Barbaso, Carli de Murga, Angge Guiso and Jeffrey Christiaens would repel all sorties.
Uy was deft in his defense and distribution of the ball that allowed wingers Misagh Bahadoran and Patrick Reichelt to raid Pasargad from the wings for crosses or volleys. Were it not for the sterling goalkeeping of Kenneth Dolloso and the leadership of playmaker Hamed Hajimehdi – the lone voice in an otherwise Global-dominated midfield --- Pasargad would have been down much earlier.
However in the 15th minute, Global finally beat Dolloso who up to that point had three superb stops, when forward Izzo EL Habbib headed in a cross by Denis Wolf.
In the 39th minute, Carli de Murga scored on a rebound off an El Habbib to give the Edwin Cabalida-coached side a comfortable, 2-0 lead.
Pasargad came out of the second half a more compact defense as they forced the ball to go through the middle where defenders Charles Ujam held fast. But a defensive miscue in the 54th minute, saw Bahadoran break two tackles to race forward unimpeded for a volley just outside the box that Dolloso was unable to save; 3-0 Global.
Minutes later, Pasargad, salvaged a measure of pride when Hajimehdi delivered a cross that striker Shedideh converted with a spectacular bicycle kick to make it 3-1. They threatened on a few more occasions as the Global players, many who had just seen action in the Peace Cup, grew tired. But on the few occasions the ball got back Global’s defensive line, goalkeeper stopped Pasargad cold.
“It’s a disappointing result. We have to work on our chemistry,” pointed out Pasargad coach Essi Sedigh whose side paraded 14 new players. “But we played better in the second half.”
Bahadoran on the other hand said that it was too early in the season to say that Global looked to romp all the way to the UFL Cup title despite being massive favorites. “Pasargad has many new players. They played us better in the second half. And I am sure they will play better as the tournament goes on. Many teams are better as well.