Global turned to its foreign standouts in the second half to hack out a 2-0 victory over PSG and reclaim the leadership of the United Football League on Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
The defending champions survived a sluggish first half before leaning on a goal apiece from Izzo El-Habib and new recruit Koray Gunduzoglu in the second half to emerge victorious in a heated affair and vault past Stallion in the 10-team standings.
“It’s certainly wasn’t pretty in the first half,” Global coach Brian Reid admitted. “I was disappointed with the way we played, lethargic, heavy legs. I could tell a wee bit in the warmup that we were very quiet for some reason. We improved in the second half, but we could’ve had more goals.”
“It’s one of those games that unless you get that first goal, it’s always going to be difficult,” added the Scottish mentor, whose team snapped the two-game winning streak of PSG, which remained in sixth spot.
Seemingly still reeling from its first loss of the season, Global failed to register a goal in the first half.
But with the Gunduzoglu and twins Marwin and Marvin Angeles coming in the second half, Global showed better resolve and was finally rewarded 23 minutes after the restart when the Sudanese El-Habbib scored on a header off a cross from Patrick Reichelt from the right flank.
In only his second game after being acquired from Turkey with the help of Azkals star Stephan Schrock, Gunduzoglu doubled the lead 20 minutes later with his own strike from the middle.
“I felt the subs gave us a fresh injection of energy and raised the tempo for us and it made the difference,” Reid said.
The game was marred by 12 cards, including three red cards shown to PSG’s Emmanuel Mbata—for throwing the ball to the face of Global’s Jerry Barbaso in an inbound play—Jason de Jong—for picking up a second yellow card, and Reid for a misunderstanding with the referee.
“I wasn’t shooting at them. I was disappointed with the Pasargad bench, clapping after a red card. I thought it was unprofessional. It was nothing to do with the officials, but for some reason they took it against me,” Reid explained later.