GLOBAL FC found its first real challenge in Stallion FC, settling for a 1-1 draw on Sunday in the Philippine Football Federation-Smart Club Championship at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Expected to be in cruise control the entire group stage for being in a relatively easier bracket, the reigning United Football League champions saw the Stallion defense nearly impenetrable before Satoshi Otomo provided the spark off the bench in the second half.
But the Stallions still proved a tough nut to crack as they found an equalizer from Nguene Landry to hold the powerhouse club to the stalemate.
Global remained on top of Group B, ahead of its victims on goal difference.
Regional qualifiers Erco-Bro and M’lang also fought to a 2-2 draw earlier to stay in third and fourth spot, respectively.
Unlike in its 10-0 hammering of M’lang last Friday, goals were hard to come by this time for Global, which went scoreless in the first half before unlocking the Stallion defense courtesy of Otomo, the Filipino-Japanese midfielder who came in for fellow Azkals pool member Dennis Villanueva after intermission.
Otomo scored just 14 minutes later off a connection between Mark Hartmann and Hikaru Minegishi.
The Stallions, however, refused to quit and pulled a goal back in the 73rd minute when Landry pounced on a napping Global backline to score.
Izzo El-Habbib had the chance to give Global back the lead and the potential winner, only for his header eight minutes before stoppage to go over the box.