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Global staves off Steuble's missed penalty, dethrones Ceres

Mark Malcampo/Global FC (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

Global ends a series of heartbreaks against Ceres with a 3-1 PFF-Smart Club Championship semifinal win at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila City.

Substitute Dennis Villanueva drilled in the go-ahead goal for the reigning UFL champion late in the extra session, while Mark Hartmann later sealed the win as Global got a sigh of relief after newcomer Martin Steuble missed a penalty seconds into stoppage time in the second half.

Manny Ott quickly put Ceres, the erstwhile PFF-Smart Club Championship winner, on top in the second minute after he saw an opening and struck the ball home.

But Mark Hartmann answered in the 48th minute as he found an opening in Ceres' back line and shot the equalizer from just inside the box.

Ceres got good chances to steal the win midway to the second half as Oladipo Okunaiya made two attempts which Patrick Deyto both stopped.

Global, on the other hand, threatened with a left flank shot that Louie Casas cleared out beautifully.

However, Global conceded a penalty as Richard Talaroc fouled Patrick Reichelt inside the box with a minute left in regulation.

Steuble, who, according to Coach Ali Go prior to the game, was expected to play limited minutes off the bench in his first Philippine professional football match, took the penalty kick, but his free shot sailed over the bar, keeping Global in the game. It eventually ended 1-all after regulation.

Villanueva, who checked in just before the second added time, put Global up for good at the 112th minute as he fired a shot from the right side of the box that got past Casas.

Two minutes later, Hartmann completed the brace with another goal off a Global fastbreak to secure the victory.

Global will face Loyola in the final Saturday night. Earlier in the day, Ceres and Stallion dispute third place.