A RETOOLED Global FC unleashed its offensive wrath on Philippine Army with a 9-1 pummeling to keep within striking distance of the lead in the United Football League on Thursday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
Mark Hartmann, Izzo El-Habib, and Jason de Jong all fired a brace, while Jeffrey Christiaens, Charlie Pettys, and new recruit Napoleon Bustilo added a goal each for the second-running side, which once again breathed down the neck of Loyola as the Sparks are now just one point clear on top.
The powerhouse squad, which saw several changes—five key additions and three subtractions—in its roster, also kept the Korean-reinforced Troopers in fourth spot.
“Global is a different animal now,” head coach Leigh Manson said. “I feel we’re stronger and that we’re getting stronger as we get to know each other.”
The result mirrored the score line in their first-round encounter as Global built a three-goal cushion in the first half this time, before even turning to a higher gear after the restart.
After making upgrades in key positions with German Rodriguez at the back, Raul Martinez in the middle, Curt Dizon on the right wing, Daisuke Sato on the left wing, and Bustilo on top, Global flashed a sleek passing game to the delight of the fans.
After El-Habib opened the floodgates with two quality goals and Christaiens struck from the penalty area, Global turned it up a notch in the second half, where the squad scored six of its output, including three in a span of just four minutes (64', 66', 67').
“There was a moment where we were absolutely unstoppable,” Manson said. “We were playing at a level that I hope we can attain more often because that’s what we strive for.”
Now wearing the captain’s armband with the departure of Ben Starosta and given the freedom to play higher and behind the strikers, De Jong repaid his coach’s faith by scoring Global’s first goal in the second half in the 55th minute.
Hartmann, despite coming off the bench, still scored twice to solidify his stature as the league’s leading scorer with 14 goals in all.