2016 UFL Cup Final Preview: Ceres-La Salle FC vs Global FC

Photo from United Football League Philippines (www.uflph.com)

CER: Manny Ott, Sang Min Kim, Louie Michael Casas
GLO: Serge Kaole, Daisuke Sato, Milan Nikolic

Key Match-ups:
Manny Ott v Matt Hartmann
Sang Min Kim v Omid Nazari
Patrick Reichelt v Daisuke Sato
Adrian Gallardo v Milan Nikolic

Suspensions: None

Manny Ott slayed the midfield of Tampines Rovers leaving his counterparts with no choice but to be extra physical with the Azkals midfielder. Sang Min’s consistent play has earned him the captains badge this season. His presence in the middle makes it difficult for opponents to win battles in the air and his length allows him to make impossible tackles. Casas has been on a tear lately, bringing his team to the final with his timely saves.

Kaole is the man of the hour. His performance in the quarterfinals as a a substitute earned him a start and a goal in the semifinals. Sato has been playing his best after his return from Japan, carrying it over to the Global and the Azkals. Nikolic’s composure and presence in the middle has been the reason for Global having the best defense this UFL Cup.

Ceres had a fine performance in the semifinal except for the except for avoidable defensive errors that cost them goals. They have corrected this in the AFC cup where they only conceded a goal from a pretty wicked deflection. The Bacolod-squad will only be less than four days removed from their AFC Cup tie and their fitness may be in question. They have however pulled off two wins from competitive matches which gives them the momentum in this match-up.

The Leyte FA squad are well rested having ten games off from UFL Cup action and will be favorites if the game extends to more than ninety minutes. Their Jekyll and Hyde offense this cup season must come-alive in order to bag the Cup. Global has never conceded more than one goal in this tournament. A key stat that has kept them afloat when their offense have betrayed them in some games.

Advantage: Global FC

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