Matthew Hartmann struck in the 77th minute as Global pinned a first loss on fierce rival Ceres-La Salle, 2-1, last Thursday night in the United Football League Cup at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Given time and space outside the box, Hartmann rifled home a shot to the bottom corner, beating Ceres goalkeeper Michael Casas as Global completed the come from behind win in Group B.
Martin Steuble gave Ceres the lead in the eight minute, but Global’s Serbian defender Milan Nikolic equalized nine minutes before the break on a set piece.
“It’s a very satisfying win,” said Global coach Leigh Manson whose team still finished second to Ceres due to an inferior goal difference.
“The players worked hard for 90 minutes. And if you noticed our last two wins, including the one against Loyola, it’s been about heart for this team. It’s all about refusing to lose.”
Kaya scored a trouble free 6-0 victory over Forza in a Group A encounter later.
Robert Lopez Mendy continued his fine goalscoring form with a hattrick while Kenshiro Daniel bagged a brace as Kaya notched its fourth straight win. Junior Munoz was also on the scoresheet for Kaya which is preparing for its first home match in the AFC Cup against Maldives’ New Radiant on Tuesday at RMS.
Forza wrapped up its Group A assignments with six points for fourth spot which meant a quarterfinal collision with Ceres.
The Bacolod side took advantage of some slack Global defending as Steuble, picking up the ball on a short free kick, fired a 35-yard effort into the top corner for the opening goal.
Global came close on a couple of occasions before Nikolic’s difficult finish inside the six yard box levelled the match in the 36th minute.
Omid Nazari also caused problems for the Ceres defense with his pace and guile in dangerous areas. There was more concern for the reigning league champions when Patrick Reichelt appeared to have picked up an injury in the first half.
With one eye on the AFC Cup away game against Shiekh Jamal Dhanmodi of Bangladesh on Tuesday, Ceres coach Ali Go opted to rest Manny Ott in the second half and also replaced Adrian Gallardo for Lee Jeong Woo.
Without Ott, Global won the midfield battle as Hartmann gave Global a well-deserved winner with a quality strike using his left foot.
“The goal was just perfect for Matt because he played a superb game tonight,” said Manson.