Green Archers hold defending champion Global FC to draw; Ceres-La Salle, Kaya FC score opening-day wins

GREEN Archers United held defending champion Global FC to a stunning 1-1 draw at the start of the 2015 United Football League on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Former Global goalkeeper Paolo Pascual became a villain for the 2014 titlist, holding the fort for the Archers with a handful of saves that denied Global of a victory as both squads settled for a point to begin their respective campaigns.

The Azkals-loaded Global looked ready to open the floodgates after Mark Hartmann converted a penalty just 10 minutes into the nightcap of the day’s tripleheader.

But the Archers equalized courtesy of star Chieffy Caligdong after the former national team skipper pounced on a loose ball then sent it to the bottom right corner of the net seven minutes before first-half stoppage time.

Acquired by the Archers in the offseason, Pascual shone right away for his new team, blocking the rest of Global’s shots after allowing Hartmann’s penalty to go in.

Global, though, has had a poorer start as it lost to Loyola Meralco, 4-0, in its opening match last year, before eventually supplanting their tormentors at the top late in the season on the way to the crown.

Ceres-La Salle and Kaya FC, two of Global’s top title threats, registered better starts after dispatching separate foes earlier to share the early lead in the 10-team standings.

Last year’s Division 2 champion, Ceres wasted no time in making its mark in the top tier as it turned back Manila Jeepney, 2-1, with goals from Martin Steuble and Adrian Gallardo.

Kaya, on the other hand, blanked Philippine Army, 4-0, behind OJ Porteria, who left the biggest imprint with a brace and an assist, and Chris Greatwich and Louis Clark chipping in a goal apiece.

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