STALLION FC is relishing its new role as a spoiler.
Their title-retention bid already out of the question, the Stallions prevented Global FC from pulling away from its closest pursuers in the United Football League on Thursday night when they held the frontrunner to a 3-3 draw at the Emperador Stadium.
Azkals returnee Ruben Doctora Jr. sparkled with the equalizing goal and two assists for the Stallions, who climbed a huge two-goal hole before holding off the league-leaders to the thrilling stalemate.
"It was a game of character," said Stallions coach Ernie Nierras, whose team also forced contender Loyola to a 1-1 draw that left a huge dent on the Sparks’ title hopes. "They were down, but they just kept on going and going, and I didn't expect anything less."
Global, despite drawing a brace from Milad Behgandom, dropped two points after the result, but still moved five points clear of Kaya FC and the Sparks at the top.
"It's not a total disaster," Global coach Leigh Manson said. "We're one point further ahead - not as far as we could've been, but still further in front than we were before."
Global appeared poised for a blowout victory when Daisuke Sato and Behgandom struck a goal each that gave the powerhouse squad a two-goal lead.
But lo and behold, the Stallions fought back and suddenly erased the deficit after Fitch Arboleda and Nasser Douroudian struck a goal each—both off Doctora dishes, just two minutes apart starting in the 59th minute.
Behgandom regained the lead for Global with a close-range conversion in the 71st.
That, however, set the stage for the heroics of Doctora, who was at the firing end eight minutes later when the Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo pride struck the into an empty net following an early challenge from goalkeeper Roland Sadia, sending the Stallion bench into delirium and the Global side stunned.