Defending league Champions Global overcame a 2-nil halftime deficit to secure a 2-2 draw with Ceres-La Salle FC last July 12 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Red-hot Misagh Bahadoran came up with an equalizer to frustrate the league leaders from an easy route to the title.
It was an exciting few days before the game as the fixtures were only set days before the match as league and cup matches were realigned for separation.
Global started withour regulars in Mark Hartmann who was out with an injury and Daisuke Sato who had accumulated yellow cards.
Both teams had defensive adjustments in their lineup with Ceres’ Martin Steuble starting at left back and Global’s Ray Jonsson covering for Sato’s original spot.
The Bacolod-squad started out strong producing clear chanches on goal which was highligted by a beauty in the 12th minute by Bienvenido Maranon. The spanish winger who had space in the right chipped the ball beautifully over Global’s Patrick Deyto to score the opener.
Manu Ott doubled the advantage for Ceres when he shot an inch perfect twenty-yard free kick eight minutes after.
Global showed some fire in the latter part of the second half to find gaps in the Ceres defense and produce some good chances especially in the dying minutes. The half ended with a 2-0 scoreline in favor of Ceres.
At halftime, Leigh Manson put in Izzo El Habbib and OJ Clarino to revitalize the Global attack with the intention to press the Ceres defense for a goal.
The gamble paid off for Global as they secured early chances for the Dan Palami squad. It was in the 60th minute when Global pulled one back after a Matthew Hartman free kick hit the underside of the crossbar which was then nodded in by Clarino on the rebound.
It was a good exchange of chances in the final thirty minutes with Global having the more dangerous opportunities. Bahadoran came through for Global in the 79th as he skirted the Ceres defense and shot to the bottom corner beyond Mike Casas’ reach.
El Habbib almost made it three for Global after the restart when he was given a free shot on top of the box that went over the bar. Both teams had good chances in the last ten minutes but none was converted. The match ended with both teams spliting points.
Global moved to 4th place while Ceres maintained top spot. Ceres would need to win three out of their last five games to secure the league title. IVG