GLOBAL FC aims to stamp its class anew, while Ceres-La Salle looks to steal the show as they collide for the Football Alliance League Cup crown of the United Football League on Thursday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The reigning league champion Global is now on the cusp of another conquest and trophy to add to its growing collection.
“I firmly believe this is where we belong,” Global coach Leigh Manson said after his team’s 2-1 semifinal win over Loyal Meralco on Tuesday night. “I think we should be always challenging. We may not always win, but we will certainly challenge for everything.”
Except for a small stain that was one loss in the group stage, the Azkals-loaded booters were flawless in the run-up to the championship round.
“It’s where we expect to be. We expect to be in the final,” the Scottish mentor added. “That’s what it means to play for this club.”
“Everybody else, their job at the moment, is to catch up with us.”
Their closest pursuer is Ceres, the reigning Division 2 titlists whose rise to the elite has been swift after joining the league just last year.
“We’ve worked hard for this,” Ceres manager Ali Go said following the squad’s 3-1 Final Four victory over Pachanga-Diliman.
The Bacolod-based booters are the remaining undefeated team in the season-opening tournament and they are looking for a sweep.
The match kicking off at 8 p.m. has quite a few subplots, with former Global players in Patrick Reichelt, Carli de Murga, Juani Guirado, Jeffrey Christiaens, Marwin and Marvin Angeles, Paul Mulders, Ed Sacapaño, and Kevin Capolei looking to be villains against their former squad.
“It’s a special game not only for me, but for a few more players who played before with Global,” De Murga said. “And every player wants to play against the defending champion of the UFL league.”
“Most of the players have been waiting for this,” Go said.