May 12, 2013, Sunday at the CCSC Stadium in Cebu, Philippines for the Global FC’s 3rd and final game in the 2013 AFC President’s Cup qualifying tournament. Dordoi Bishek routs Global, 6-1
Active Azkals Players:
(Goalkeeper) – Moussa Sanogo
(Defenders) – Jason De Jong, Juani Guirado, Carli De Murga, Jerry Barbaso
(Midfielders) – Marwin Angeles, Jeffrey Christiaens, Patrick Reichelt, Ben Starosta
(Forwards) – Joshua Beloya, Misagh Bahadoran
(Substitutes) – Nino Ochotorena, Ed Sacapano, Aaron Altiche
The game was not telecast live by Studio 23, the channel who could afford to cover live minor collegiate Basketball tournaments like the 2013 Fil-Oil Pre-Season Tournament, but not major INTERNATIONAL Football tournaments like the AFC President’s Cup. Hence, fans like me have had to rely on tweetcasts from various sources like Global FC, Filipino Football and Soccer Central to follow the game.
Anyway, the game started well for Global when Carli De Murga scored the opening goal in the 9th minute, but Dordoi equalizes a mere 5 minutes later off a reported defensive error by Global. Dordoi pulls ahead with their 2nd goal in the 25th minute off a Penalty Kick. More bad news for Global, though, when Patrick Reichelt went down with an injury and had to be substituted off the Pitch by Nino Ochotorena. The score remained at 2-1 at the end of the first half.
Dordoi extended their lead when they scored their 3rd goal in the 55th minute off a Free Kick, after which Reid has had enough and pulled out Starting Goalkeeper Moussa Sanogo in favor of Ed Sacapano. Ed turned out to be no better when he conceded his first goal just 4 minutes later, and went on to concede two more goals in the 77th minute and in injury time for the final score of 6-1 in favor of Dordoi Bishek.
Losing 5 goals is bad enough, worst if you lose AT HOME like Global did. And to think Global had a pretty good defensive lineup by UFL standards: They had a 6’5″ Ivorian Goalkeeper in Moussa Sanogo, and an Azkal Goalkeeper for substitute in Ed Sacapano.
They also had Azkals for Center Backs in Juani Guirado and Carli De Murga, another Azkal Left Back in Jeffrey Christiaens, and supposed to be one of the best Right Backs in the country in Jerry Barbaso. Put in another Azkal at Defensive Midfield in Jason De Jong and you have what is probably the best defensive lineup in the UFL. And yet Global still ended up conceding 6 goals in the match.
My guess is that Dordoi found holes in Global’s defense in the First Half, and made the necessary adjustments in the 2nd Half to exploit those holes. Plus the players ran out of steam in the 2nd half.
Also, now Brian Reid’s choices for the team’s two imports comes under intense scrutiny. For one, why go with Ben Starosta instead of Global’s top scorer Izzo El-Habbib, for example? He took a gamble there when he thought that he needed more of a feeder in Starosta than an inconsistent finisher like El-Habbib who has not been playing well lately. But Starosta was hardly a factor against the tough teams KRL and Dordoi in this tournament.
Furthermore, why put in an untested Goalkeeper like Moussa Sanogo? Sure, he is 6’5″, and had good credentials from the Ivory Coast, but by not seeing him play in actual games, he took another big gamble, one that did not necessarily pay off when Sanogo conceded 5 goals in his last 2 games. Reid would later blame Sanogo and say that the GK will never play for Global again, but in fairness to Sanogo, Ed also did not do very well by conceding also 3 goals in the game.
A truly atrocious result not only for Global FC, but for Philippine Football in general since one of the best teams in the country got shellacked by 5 goals at home. I think this result puts the UFLs policy on Imports into question. Having unlimited imports may not necessarily be helping the league after all. It may have stifled the development of the local players. Global normally has 4-5 imports in their Starting Lineup. Take away those 2-3 and it ended up as not the same team anymore.
We can only hope that Pakistan’s KRL FC and Kyrgyztan’s Dordoi Bishek FC will end up in the Finals, that will at least salvage some pride for Philippine Football as we could always claim we lost to the best teams in the AFC President’s Cup. If not, and we end up losing badly to the middle-tier teams in the tournament, then that would mean Philippine Football is really screwed …