A FULL-strength Global squad as expected sank Philippine Navy, 4-0, and clinched the first quarterfinal berth in the United Football League Cup at the University of Makati field on Saturday night.
Opting to ease back its national team players into the regular rotation, the powerhouse club stuck with basically the same starting XI that blasted Socceroo, 11-0, last week in coming up with another blowout victory in Group A.
The Philippine Azkals’ Jeff Christiaens, Misagh Bahadoran, Demit Omphroy, Carli de Murga, and Matt Uy still saw action but only came in late in the match for the reigning League champion, which finished the four-game elimination round with three wins and a draw for a total of 10 points.
Alex Obiang followed up his hat-trick feat against Socceroo with a brace this time, while Izzo El-Habbib and Kevin Capolei added a goal apiece for Global, which sent Navy to its third loss and out of quarterfinal contention.
In another Group A match, Pasargad walloped Socceroo, 8-0, to stay alive in the quarterfinal race.
Masood Shedideh exploded for five goals to become the Cup’s scoring leader with seven overall, while Amin Nefasaty, Alireza Jamali, and Hamed Hajimhedi also struck a goal each for the Iranian-laden club, which now has six points in three matches.
Pasargad now needs to win its last game against second-running and dark-horse General Trias on Oct. 30 to clinch the second spot after Global.
In the night’s most surprising result, Pachanga clipped the Loyola Meralco Sparks, 2-1, to grab the solo lead in Group C.
Fresh from a stunning 0-1 loss off an uncharacteristic own goal to Nomads last Tuesday, Pachanga was in the winning side of an upset this time as it leaned on the second-half goals of Ernest Appiah and Ariel Zerrudo to defeat the Sparks, who are bannered by Azkals’ James and Phil Younghusband.
The defending Division 2 League titlist, Pachanga is now tied with Nomads with six points, but has the group clincher because of a one-point goal difference advantage.
The Sparks, who remained in third spot with three points, actually had more shots (25-14) and controlled possession (54-46 percent), but they just could not convert their attempts, except for Byeong Yeol Jeong’s goal before halftime.
Action resumes on Sunday with Kaya taking on Dolphins for the Group B lead, Sta. Lucia facing Agila in Group D, and Laos colliding with Mendiola in a Group C encounter.