PFL: Global beat Ilocos to edge closer to top-four berth

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

Global Cebu moved one step closer to sealing a top-four berth in the Philippines Football League on Sunday following a 3-2 win over Ilocos United.

It initially looked as though Global would be stunned at the Cebu City Sports Complex by the competition’s bottom side, as Arthur Kouassi fired Ilocos ahead in the 19th minute.

However, Darryl Roberts equalised for the hosts two minutes later and then struck again to hand them the lead two minutes before the break.

Right on the stroke of halftime, Kouassi notched his second goal of the evening to level the scores and, once more, it looked as though Global would be denied.

But, with ten minutes remaining, Wesley Santos latched onto a long freekick by Yu Hoshide and brilliantly flicked the ball over a defender, before lashing home a left-footed strike to win it for his side.

While they have still have four games to play in the regular season, it looks increasingly likely that Global will wrap up fourth spot and the last place in the PFL’s finals series.

The only team that can still mathematically catch them are sixth-placed JPV Marikina, after Stallion Laguna’s faint hopes were extinguished by a 2-2 draw against Davao Aguilas.

It could have been a more positive result for Stallion as it took them just over 60 seconds to break the deadlock at the Rizal Memorial Stadium via Yannick Tuason’s close-range finish.

The designated visitors then made it 2-0 in the 17th minute; Tuason playing the role of provider on this occasion with a right-wing cross that was met by Fitch Arboleda’s superb first-time volley into the back of the net.

Nonetheless, Davao refused to give in and pulled one back 11 minutes into the second half when Brad McDonald waltzed his way into the box and beat Benito Rosalia Jr. with a ferocious drive.

And, Harrison Sawyer earned the Aguilas a share of the spoils, instinctively reacting as Jaime Cheng’s back-heeled pass fell his way and poking home the equaliser.