Global Cebu FC is back and will try to defend their homeground against the Kaya FC-Makati at 7 p.m. Saturday, August 19, at the Cebu City Sports Center, in a game that will determine which team will stay at the No.2 spot in the Philippines Football League (PFL).
Both teams have 28 points after toting the same record of 8 wins and 4 draws but Kaya is currently sitting at the No. 2 spot because it has a goal difference of 9 points as compared to Global’s 8 points.
Both teams also came from facing the same opponent—the JPV Marikina but while Global got routed at 2-5, Kaya managed to draw their match at 2-2.
“I think for me, all teams coming from a defeat will have the mentality to bounce back. So, on our side, we’re here to accept that challenge and for me that’s the importance of the game for tomorrow,” said Kaya head coach Noel Marcaida.
Marcaida added that as long as they don’t let what happened the last time they met happen again, they will do well against Global.
“As long as we don’t concede early goals and don’t concede late goals, we can have a good result against Global FC,” said Marcaida citing what happened the last time they played each other in Kaya’s homeground. “Like in our previous game in our home wherein they scored first and they scored last, we had a chance to get that 3 points in our home but we conceded that late goal, so if we control that, we’ll have a good result for tomorrow.”
Marcaida is unfazed about the big support that Global has been enjoying here in their homeground.
“It’s always nice to play in a stadium wherein there’s lots of fans coming in to watch the game, so, I think with the fans and an atmosphere like that, they deserve to have quality football, so we’re here and we’ll give them the excitement and the enjoyment in watching the game,” said Marcaida who added that playing here will be just like playing at home anyway because of the traffic and the venue is grass.
The Cebuanos as well will be seeing someone familiar on Kaya’s side—goalkeeper Ref Cuaresma who had his collegiate football career here in Cebu while studying at the Southwestern University.
“Everyone knows that I’m from Dumaguete but Cebu’s been part of my football career and my life, I studied college here, I represented Cebu in the U19 national tournament so coming back is like a homecoming,” said Cuaresma who added that some of his family and friends will be watching the game and will be donning Kaya jerseys even though they’e worn Global jerseys in previous games held here.
“Let’s just say it’s a good feeling coming back here coz Cebu plays a big role in my football career,” Cuaresma said.
Happy to be back
Global head coach Akbar Nawas also expressed their delight in being back here wherein they hope to keep their winning streak. So far in their four games here, Global has won 3 and draw one.
“This is one streak that we wish to keep because this is Cebu, it is our homeground and it is something that we will love to make a point to any opponent that comes to us, that it is not going to be an easy game,” explained Nawas.
The Global head coach further added that “whenever we play here, automatically the fans, they really lift us in a different level, you go to Manila, the number of fans there as compared to the fans here, the spirit of the team, they really uplift us. No matter what problems we have before walking unto the pitch, when the game starts, it is a different ballgame so we’re always happy to be here.”
Nawas assured that they will have a new keeper in time for Saturday’s game and that it will definitely not be Misagh Bahadoran.
Despite the hectic schedules that both teams have with Kaya playing 3 games in 8 days and the Global flying in and out of the country to see action in the Singapore Cup as well, they assured that they are physically and mentally fit for Saturday night’s game by making sure the players have good recovery.
“Recoveries of course is of the utmost importance,” said Nawas, who added that “I think fatigue is a factor, because as much as being physically taxed it is mentally tiring, I mean for me as a coach, traveling up and down is really tiring, imagine the players, so it’s about trying to, you know, get proper recovery, do the best we can and play the best we can because it is what it is, the fixtures, there’s nothing we can do to change.”
According to Nawas, they make sure that their players are mentally prepared for every game by constantly talking to them either as a team or individually to understand what they are going through and finding out how they are feeling.