GLOBAL FC turned to its national team standouts who sustained their sensational form to shut out Green Archers United, 4-0, and keep in step with Loyola Meralco in the United Football League on Saturday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill.
Fortifying their respective chances of getting called up for the Azkals’ upcoming friendlies, Mark Hartmann, Misagh Bahadoran, and Jason de Jong were all on target as well as Iranian striker Milad Behgandom for Global, which nudged within a point of the league-leading Sparks with 22 points.
The Archers, who continued to miss injured skipper Chieffy Caligdong, stayed in seventh place.
As if Caligdong’s absence is not enough, the offensively wanting Archers, without veteran homegrown winger Arnie Pasinabo Jr., also missed premier goalkeeper Patrick Deyto in the second half.
With Deyto good for only 45 minutes as he nursed lower back and hamstring injuries, Global pounced on untested Archers ‘keeper Ivan Fraire in the second half, where the 2012 UFL champion scored three of its goals.
“We insisted on our players closing the middle down (in the second half),” Global coach Leigh Manson said. “Suddenly we had bodies around the ball. When we won the ball, we had players we could pass to.”
Unlike in their first-round encounter where it was held to a goalless draw, Global's offense was abundant this time as Hartmann found the back of the net just two minutes after the restart when he scored off the rebound after a Bahadoran miss.
Behgandom then tripled the lead with a header off a Christiaens corner a minute before stoppage time.
Three minutes later, De Jong, fully recovered from an offseason injury, converted an own header off an Izzo El-Habib cross to complete the rout and cap off his first full match in a while.
Global’s second-half showing was a marked improvement compared to its performance in the opening half, where Bahadoran provided the lone bright play--a remarkable volley off a Harmtann cross 31 minutes into the game.
“It was a great finish to a poor half, a moment of magic,” Manson said of the Filipino-Iranian’s opening strike.