Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

UFL Tuesday: A Preview of the Global-Stallion match

A Preview of the Global-Stallion match
by rick olivares pics by mark dimalanta/interaksyon

Tuesday , May 28, 2013
Emperador Stadium

Stallion 14-0-1 GF: 52 GA: 16 GD: 36 PTS: 42
Global 12-1-1 GF: 40 GA: 6 GD: 34 PTS: 37

Last Match: March 19, 2013
1-0  Global
2-0  Goal: Izzo El Habbib (78)

With several matches left to play, this one could be the clincher for Stallion or the lifeline that Global needs.

The last time these two clubs took each other on, Stallion dominated possession and had more shots on goal. Global had fewer but made the most out of it on a late goal by Izzo El Habbib. The defending league champions pulled off this victory with their trademark defense.

After El Habbib’s goal, I looked at Stallion forward Rufo Sanchez and he knew at that 78th minute strike, they were done because Global is unforgiving on defense.

Looking at the league table, even with one match in hand for Global, Stallion, is five points up. And Brian Reid-coached side would really want to grab the maximum points off this match up.

The cool thing about this match up is every players will be present and on hand. No one is out on yellow or red cards.

Why Stallion will win:
They are on a mission. This club carries that chip on Ernie Nierras’ broad shoulders. Remember when Nierras called out AKTV for not utilizing any Stallion player for their television plugs? They responded by winning the UFL Cup.

There’s a hunger about this club. They want the double – (the cup and the league) and they want it bad.

When they were promoted to Division One, they weren’t even the Division Two champions. That went to Nomads. Of course, they are a different side now with only Ruben Doctora Jr., Bervic Italia, and Wilson Muñoz left from that line-up. What they have right now is a more international line-up of stars and quiet guys who prefer to let their feet and their goals do the talking.

They can feel the title within their grasp and they want it.

They have gotten tougher since that 1-0 loss to Global. Look at that string of wins:
Stallion defeated Nomads 1-0
Stallion defeated Loyola 4-2
Stallion defeated Green Archers United 4-3
Stallion defeated Pasargad 5-1
Stallion defeated Army 1-0
Stallion defeated Kaya 3-2
Stallion defeated Air Force 6-0
Stallion defeated Pachanga 2-0

Sure there have been inconsistent play – against Pachanga, Kaya, Army, Green Archers United, Loyola, and Army. But Stallion has shown that they can blowout opponents and even win the nail biters.

Their bench is better now. Before you could only say that this club was tops because of their Spaniards, Koreans, and troika of homegrown stars. Now players like Hector Zaghi, Jeremy Hohn, Diego Barrera, and Nathan Alquiros have stepped up. Alquiros has been a super sub for Stallion in the vein of Janrick Soriano is for Kaya – instant offense. Daniel Matsunaga isn’t so bad himself. Even backup keeper Guilherme Hasegawa has done well.

They’ve got Rufo Sanchez. I have not seen anyone outside Global’s President Cup foes handle Jerry Barbaso so well that Sanchez needed to be double or triple teamed. Kids in the Philippines should watch the Spaniard (when I write that it is as if I am lifting a line from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator as how Russell Crowe’s character was called in the arena) plays – an economy of movement, an uncanny feel for the game, his speed of thought, and impeccable finishes. That is why he is the best striker in the country.

They will have a complete line up. That means their defense ministers, Joaco Cañas and Kim Hyo Il will be present. And that will pack a lot of firepower. It should be noted that Global had a tough time handling Stallion with Cañas and Doctora. They made headway when the former went out with an injury in the 58th minute (Alquiros came in to no effect but he is a completely different player now).

Why Global will win:
Great champions die hard. After a loss, a winner knows how to respond. After that galling 3-2 loss to Kaya, this is how Reid’s boys responded:
Global defeated Pasargad 2-0
Global defeated Nomads 4-0
Global defeated Green Archers United 4-0
Global defeated Pachanga 3-0
Global defeated Air Force 2-0

Anyone notice anything? They have not conceded a goal since. That’s 15 goals for and zero against them. ZERO. ZILCH. NADA. They have conceded ONLY six goals all season. That is unheard of. You think they too are not on a mission? That they aren’t hungry for more silverware?

You must be on drugs if you disagree.

And now they have goal keeper extraordinaire Roland Sadia back from injury. When you have a great goalkeeper behind you, the defense, heck, the entire team plays better. You know that he can clean up that mess you’ve left behind and Sadia is one of the masters of the clean sheets. Not only will Stallion have to contend with breaking a tough back four (the best in the league) but there’s Sadia they have to beat. And as foes will attest – that isn’t easy.

They have speed and power up front. When Misagh Bahadoran plays well, Global has a marvelous chance of winning. Bahadoran can not only outrun you but he’s got a great cross. Izzo El Habbib is just like Rufo Sanchez when he gets inside the box – he’s dangerous.

There’s the flank threats. Patrick Reichelt, Jeffrey Christiaens, and Jerry Barbaso has speed, great dribbling ability, a mean cross, and are terrific in their decision making. Stallion will have to stop these guys to prevent the ball from moving up. But that’s easier said than done because Yu Hoshide, Ben Starosta, Carli De Murga, or Koray Gundozoglu can do the same. This is a loaded line-up.

They too have a complete line-up. No cards. No suspensions. There is no one in this line-up that you can throw away. Even Niño Ochotorena (one of my fave and most underrated footballers) can be left on the bench. That lad is just too good. The quality of play doesn’t suffer no matter who Reid calls up. And that is frightening.

Both clubs can cancel each other out. So how will this game be won?
On defense.
On coaching adjustments.
On the substitutes’ play.
On who can stop the opposing forwards first.

Now let’s hope we get some terrific officiating because a titanic match up like this deserves only the best. 

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully po may free live links para mkpnood un mga nsa abroad....tnx