SINGAPORE—With a deeper squad and stronger grasp of the playing style of its foe, Filipino squad Global FC aims to achieve a historic feat when it clashes with Tanjong Pagar United in the second leg of their Singapore Cup semifinal tie at Jalan Besar Stadium Friday night.
Global hopes to become the first Filipino club to reach the finals of the prestigious tournament following the elimination of the Loyola Meralco Sparks in the last four in the 2012 edition.
And having held Tanjong Pagar to a 2-2 draw in the first leg at Queenstown Stadium last Tuesday, the United Football League stalwarts are in a strong position to pull off an upset in their 7:30 p.m. clash.
Global will also be close to full strength with Filipino international Paul Mulders and defender Delon Patrick Yao returning to the lineup after sitting out the first leg due to suspension.
Goalkeeper Roland Sadia, who made significant saves in the first leg, but also cost the team the second goal, will be suspended for the match after picking up his second yellow card. Ed Sacapano, who has vast international experience, will man the posts for Global.
“The players are ready for the challenge,” said Global manager Dan Palami. “The good thing is now we know how to play them (Tanjong Pagar). We can be confident of our chances.”
Global coach Brian Reid believes his side is on the cusp of pulling off something special that will greatly boost the stock of Philippine football.
“We can’t get carried away (by the result of the first leg),” said Reid. “But I feel that if we played the right way, defend properly and take our (scoring) chances well, we have a good chance of winning.”
With the lineup ravaged by injuries and suspensions, several players impressed for Global in the first leg, particularly Joshua Beloya and the seldom-used Aaron Altiche, who scored the equalizer and set up the first goal of Misagh Bahadoran.
And the return of Mulders and Yao has given Reid a selection dilemma.
“It’s good to have Mulders and Yao available because it makes us stronger but you also can’t leave out Aaron (Altiche) from the starting lineup after that performance in the first leg,” said the Scottish coach.