DESPITE playing without some of its key players and playing under the blistering heat on a pitch that has seen better days, Global FC outclassed home team Cebu Queen City United (CQCU), 6-2, yesterday at the Cebu City Sports Center in the second round of eliminations of the Philippine Football Federation Smart Cup.
“The field wasn’t in its best condition maybe because of the earthquake and the typhoon. But we are grateful to be here though. We had great support here,”said Global coach Brian Reid.
Reid and Global played in Cebu during the AFC Presidents Cup qualifiers last summer.
“The heat here was quite fierce and made it more difficult for both teams. However, we won the game pretty comfortably despite the difficult conditions,” he said.
After a couple of attempts, center forward Izzeldin El Habib broke the ice with the first goal in the 10th minute.
Queen City defended Global well but Mark Hartmann scored on a beautiful free kick just outside the box that grazed past the wall and into the net before the halftime break in the 45th minute.
Angel Guirado opened up the second half by scoring one of his three goals. Guirado got past porous defense of Queen City to score Global’s third goal in the 66th minute.
Two minutes later, Hartmann scored on another breakaway goal for a commanding 4-0 lead. Global started to relax and let down its guard and Dan Villarico capitalized on it with a beautiful strike just outside the box for the home team’s first goal of the match in the 73rd minute.
“I scolded them because they lost concentration,” said Reid after his team conceded a goal that could have been avoided. “It was a free shot and a point to lose”Guirado immediately retaliated and hit another goal with a nifty flick of the ball just three minutes after.
Joseph Rodriguez scored the second goal for the Cebuanos with a header from a corner kick in the 82nd minute before Guirado completed his hat trick a minute into injury time.
With the win, GFC advanced to the finals of the Smart Club National championships after topping Group E with six points. Cebu finished the elimination with three points.
Global missed the services of Spanish striker Rufo Sanchez, who went back to Spain, and Azkals midfielder Carli de Murga.
“We played an okay game despite missing Carli de Murga and Rufo Sanchez. We lost a few players and we weren’t in full strengthbut I give credit to our players,” said Reid.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 05, 2013