GLOBAL leaned on Misagh Bahadoran’s late goal to outlast Kaya, 2-1, and advance to the semifinals of the United Football League Cup at the University of Makati pitch on Tuesday night.
The Filipino-Iranian midfielder broke a 1-all deadlock two minutes into extra time to seal the match that moved Global just two wins away from capturing its second Cup title in three years.
“It was a tough game. Kaya is a team that will always fight on until the end,” said Global owner Dan Palami, whose teams now faces the winner of the Loyola Meralco-Philippine Army quarterfinal showdown.
Demit Omphroy gave Global the early lead with a strike in the 33rd minute, only for Eddie Mallari to equalize for Kaya just before halftime.
“We relaxed a little and they made us pay for it, but we made sure we focused in the second half,” said Palami, whose squad was fancied to win the game as Global’s lineup is beefed up by national players.
Although Global controlled the lions’ share of possession, it was a tightly-fought contest in the next 45 minutes.
With the game still tied at full time, two 15-minute halves were added to break the tie.
And just when the players were warming up in the overtime period, Bahadoran zoomed from the left flank and attempted a fleet-footed strike that found the back of the net.
“It was just perfect timing,” Bahadoran said of his 92nd-minute strike that sent the team's throng of followers, known as the Global Force, up on its feet in the stands.
“Misagh was very creative … I told him (before the start of extra time) that if he would have that one spurt where he would have a chance to take a shot, he should take it. I’m glad he executed it very well,” said Palami.
The Global owner seemed to have expected this kind of game from Bahadoran anyway.
“Whenever he faces Kaya, I don’t need to motivate him that much.”
In only his first game back from a groin injury, Jason Sabio did a splendid job anchoring Kaya’s defense that went for naught following the heartbreaking loss.
He was teary-eyed after the game and declined to be interviewed when sought by Spin.ph.