The Global Cebu FC keeps its streak for the 6th time at home as it edged Davao Aguilas FC, 3-1, Wednesday, September 13, at the football field of the Cebu City Sports Center wherein 3,650 spectators were in attendance to watch the game.
The scoring spree was started by Wesley Dos Santos in the 24th minute when he scored on a set piece, a corner taken by Misagh Bahadoran.
Bahadoran sent the ball right into the middle of a pack assembled at the goalmouth. A goalmouth scramble ensued wherein Darryl Roberts headed the ball but it went wide, it was then kicked back into the fray and went to Dos Santos who slotted the ball right in, beating Davao’s goalie Marko Trkulja who failed to get up right on time to deflect Dos Santos’ goal.
The second goal was in the 62nd minute wherein Roberts picked up a cross pass and finished with a half volley straight into the goal.
And the third was in the 71st which was a play from one Paolo to another Paolo. Paolo Bugas, who just came in replacing Bahadoran, made a cross that went past Rufo Sanchez to find a streaking Paolo Salenga who also kicked the ball right in on a half volley.
“Of course I’m happy because we trained a particular way after we played them in Davao. We didn’t know how they’d play then so we saw what they were, we knew what their strength, and what their weaknesses are, and we really worked at it for the past two days even though it was recovery days for us,” said Global head coach Akbar Nawas.
Global Cebu’s effective defense
Nawas added that they wanted to play a pressing game today and he gives credit to the team for doing just that.
Hikaru Minegishi was very effective as a left back as he often foils James Younghusband’s passes. However, Nawas said he is not sure that he will be playing Minegishi in the same position in their game against FC Meralco Manila this Saturday, September 16, still at the Cebu City Sports Center.
“Minegishi is an intelligent player, covered the position very well, did a lot of policing in the back,” said Nawas, who added that he still has to sleep on it before making a decision.
Global is making some adjustments in their defense in the absence of Amani Manuel Aguinaldo who is out on an injury, the extent of which still has to be determined.
According to Jerry Barbaso, they’re making Aguinaldo’s absence as a motivation to strengthen their defense.
“Kahibaw mi na kulang amo depensa, makaya ra pero lahi jud kung naa pa si Amani,” said Barbaso adding that this is what they are showing now, they are starting to adjust their defense.
(We know that our defense is lacking, although we can handle it but there is really a difference if Amani is there.)
Nawas said that they wanted to tactically press high today, wanted their defensive line to be higher and more compact.
Davao head coach: “We were the better team”
Despite that, Harrison Sawyer found a hole in Global’s defense to complete a turn in the 85th minute, preventing a shutout for the Davao Aguilas.
“To be honest I’ve never felt uncomfortable throughout the whole game, I thought we were the better football team, Global played it in straights, they kicked it long then they chase, they’ve got two very good strikers and I think that was the difference. The two strikers won the game, they were just too good for our defenders,” said Davao Aguilas head coach Gary Philips.
According to Philips, “clearly we missed our foreign defenders, we just couldn’t match their strength, and to Global’s credit they know how to win games, they’ve got a lot of experience, they kick it, they chase it and they put pressure on you.”
Philips said that he had repeatedly reminded his team to defend well on set pieces but they did not do that and for sure his team will be hearing about it.
The Australian head coach did not start Phil Younghusband and only sent him in to replace Nate Burkey a few minutes after Global scored its second goal in the second half.
“Phil has played 157 games this year, he needs a rest. I look after the person before the player. After, he’s got two more games coming up against Ceres, very tough games, he’s got national team duties, he’s got to travel halfway around the world there and back again, somebody has to take responsibility and give him a rest. He is not putting his hand up to have a rest but he needs the rest,” Philips said.
The younger Younghusband did have his chances when he attempted a goal on target but was saved by Global goalie Patrick Deyto. He also created a lot of chances with Matthew Hartmann but Davao could not just finish their attacks owing to Global’s tight defense.
Despite lamenting about their need for a better defense, Philips said that he is happy with how his players played as they created chances.
The win puts Global in the second spot with 33 points on a 9-4-6 win-loss-draw record, 7 points behind the leader Meralco which has accumulated 40 points with its 12-2-4 card.