GLOBAL failed to live up to its stature as arguably the best defensive team in the United Football League after losing to Loyola Meralco, 2-0, on Thursday night in an outcome that left a large dent on its back-to-back championship aspirations.
Entering the game as the team which allowed the least number of goals in the tournament with seven, the defending champion found themselves giving up two goals against a rejuvenated Sparks side that had been a big disappointment in its recent matches.
Global coach Brian Reid blamed his team’s uncharacteristic errors, especially in the second half, that led to its downfall.
“That’s the worst I’ve seen us perform all season at the wrong time, defending like schoolboys and we only had one shot on target all night,” The Scottish mentor said.
“It’s a bad recipe.”
In his first appearance for the squad this season, Juani Guirado, considered a rock on defense, committed a rare error in the 72nd minute when he failed to catch a pass from the midfield that Sparks star Phil Younghusband pounced on and turned into a strike as it slipped past the hands of goalkeeper Roland Sadia.
Carlos Guisso also made a crucial miscue when he let Younghusband slip past him in the final third, which forced the Global player to intentionally commit a foul on the forward that led to him receiving an automatic red card.
“Our mistakes, I wouldn’t expect a ten-year old to do that,” said Reid, whose squad was coming off a rousing debut in the Singapore Cup following a 2-0 victory over defending champion Warriors FC.
Global also scored a rousing 2-1 win over front-running Stallion prior to its stint in Singapore.
“It’s such a big disappointment after the highs we’ve had in Singapore and last week’s game against the Stallions to put in such an inept performance.”
With the loss, Global is left without a choice but to win its last two games against Kaya and Army, and hope Stallion loses to Loyola next week to retain the title.
“We’re certainly not going to concede anything,” Reid said.
Meanwhile, Pachanga-Diliman seeks a share of fourth place with Kaya as it takes on the sixth-running Green Archers United on Saturday at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m. with last year’s Division 2 champion facing a revitalized Archers side that has scored three wins and a draw in its last four games.