GLOBAL Cebu FC now has to do things the hard way after failing to create an all-important cushion in Manila as it heads to Singapore for the second leg of the AFC Cup zonal semifinals against Home United on Tuesday at the Jalan Basar Stadium.
A last minute equalizer from Home’s Stipe Plazibat left the Philippine club frustrated as the Singaporeans now hold a slight edge with a 2-2 aggregate heading home — with the away goals a big factor in the fixture.
Making things even tougher for Global is the absence of defender and first leg goal scorer Amani Aguinaldo who was sent off in the 75th minute after incurring two yellow cards.
Good thing for them, Brazilian defender Wesley dos Santos will be back in action after serving a one-game suspension due to multiple yellows.
But it will still be one major adjustment for Global – and it’s up to head coach Marjo Allado to try and tweak things for his squad
"Amani is very important in the team but we have players to cover that position. Wesley (dos Santos) is coming back. We'll have to train with him and maybe even Dennis (Villanueva),” said Allado.
"We have to re-focus now heading into our second leg, we'll look at their two goals, especially the one on the set piece in injury time," he added.
Goalkeeper Patrick Deyto, who wore the captain’s armband in the first leg, knew that they shouldn’t have been in this position in the first place after playing so well for most parts of the match – only to falter when it matters the most.
For him, the two goals should have definitely been avoided, and the scoreline shouldn’t have been just two goals.
"It was too easy (for Home United). The goals we conceded were mental lapses, we cannot afford to make these mistakes, especially against a quality team like Home United,” said Deyto who beat himself for playing Home United’s first goal.
"We dominated yes but we didn't take our chances. That's the consequences if you don't take your chances. We have to play better for the second leg. We still have a chance, we just have to win over there,” he added.
If it's any consolation for Global, skipper Misagh Bahadoran is slowly getting back to form having already played a couple of matches after being sidelined for nearly two months due to an MCL injury.
Darryl Roberts and Kemy Agustien are also two players who’s expected to spark the Cebu-based club’s attack in the second leg.