Manila: A brace from Mark Hartmann and goals from Misagh Bahadoran and Renato Gonzalez saw Filipino champions Global FC record their first-ever AFC Cup victory in a 4-1 win over nine-men Yadanarbon of Myanmar on Wednesday to stay in the hunt for a place in the Round of 16.Manila.
Having lost 2-0 in the first meeting last month in Mandalay, Global took the lead on 16 minutes through Hartmann’s penalty kick before Yan Paing quickly drew the scores level.
Hartmann’s second six minutes before the interval restored Global’s lead, though, and Bahadoran made it three just before the hour mark. Red cards for Zaw Lin Tun and Tin Win Aung compounded Yadanarbon’s misery before Gonzalez scored to make it 4-1 on the night.
The victory brought Global’s total to four points, level with Pahang who were defeated 3-1 by South China in Group G’s other Matchday Four tie, while Yadanarbon was left with a mountain to climb to survive out of the group, after dropping to the bottom with just three points from four matches.
“It feels good to win and make history,” said Global coach Dan Padernal. “We were able to prove that we can play at this level. The training and preparation showed in the game. The players showed a lot of heart.”
“The group is now wide open with South China winning. We know that we have a good chance of making the knockout stage.”
Global welcomed skipper Bahadoran back after a two-game absence, along with defender Amani Aguinaldo who sat out the previous meeting with Yadanarbon a fortnight ago due to suspension.
And after some enterprising play early on, Global won a penalty, which Hartmann duly converted, after Yan Paing blocked Martinez’s free kick inside the box on the quarter hour mark.
The goal roused Yadanarbon into action and four minutes later, the Myanmar champions were level as Paing made amends with a precise left-footed effort off a corner kick.
But a mistake led to Global’s second goal in the 39th minute when a Zaw Ye Tun back pass was handled by goalkeeper Thiha Sithu leading to an indirect free kick from eight yards.
Gonzalez laid the ball off to Hartmann who found the bottom corner to make it 2-1.
A threat all match long, Bahadoran got on the score sheet in the 58th minute with a brilliant individual goal. Released by Paolo Bugas in midfield, Bahadoran dribbled 45 yards before slotting the ball past Sithu.
Yadanarbon’s fortunes turned from bad to worse in the 70th minute when Zaw Lin Tun was sent off for a coming together with Aguinaldo on a set piece for another penalty. To Yadanarbon’s relief, Sithu denied Hartmann his hat-trick with a brilliant save.
But the respite was only temporary as another Yadanarbon player saw red six minutes later when Tin Win Aung got his marching orders six minutes later for a challenge on Bahadoran.
Global cashed in on another Sithu mistake after the goalkeeper handled the ball outside the area, giving the home side another free kick from just outside the box.
This time, it was Gonzalez who struck the ball to the bottom corner to complete the rout.
“I cannot fault the team with their performance because they played hard. Our best defender Happiness (Okpechi) did not play and it made it difficult for us,” said Yadanarbon coach Kyi Naing.
“The current situation is very difficult with so many players injured and with suspensions. We will just do the best that we can to finish the group stage.”