GLOBAL FC stayed on track for the United Football League crown, but only after fending off a tough challenge from a desperate Pasargad side, 4-1, on Saturday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig.
The championship frontrunners woke up after a scare early in the second half where they lost an early lead against a depleted relegation-threatened squad before turning it on the rest of the way.
Raul Martinez, Izzo El-Habib, Yu Hoshide, and Mark Hartmann were on target for Global, which jacked up its points tally to 47 points, seven ahead of closest pursuer Loyola Meralco.
"We had a perfect start and that should've been a springboard," Global coach Leigh Manson said, referring to Martinez's conversion off a corner that broke the ice eight minutes into the game. "But I felt the guys were tired mentally."
As a result, the powerhouse side failed to build momentum and even surrendered an early goal in the second half to Martin Weidmar.
That, however set the stage for a late Global onslaught that saw the squad break the game wide open with El-Habib scoring for the second straight game, Hartmann sustaining his status as the league's top scorer, and Yu finding the back of the net for a change after supplying to his teammates in past few matches.
The final scoreline hardly reflected the solid defense of Pasargad goalkeeper William Nsangou, who made a handful of impressive saves for the cellar-dwelling side, which remained seven points behind Socceroo.
"I'm proud of how my guys played," said Pasargad coach Myk Agbayani, who only had 13 players, including two subs, available. "There is hope in this team."