Global settles for 1-1 draw with Green Archers to start UFL title defense

By Ivan Saldajeno

Even in a football match, the answer on which is the better mobile network in the Philippines is unknown.

Global, whose main sponsor is Smart, and Green Archers, whose main sponsor is Globe, battled to a 1-1 draw in the nightcap of the UFL season's opening festivities at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila City.

Green Archers pulled off an impressive defensive stand against Global, the defending champion.

Despite conceding Mark Hartmann's penalty goal in the tenth minute, the Archers' backline led by goalkeeper Paolo Pascual held on the rest of the game even as Chieffy Caligdong scored the equalizer to salvage the point.

Caligdong, who retired from playing for the Philippine Azkals last year, scored a beautiful strike from just inside the box in the 39th minute, showing that he can be deadly in club play.

Before Caligdong's game-tying goal, Global had good chances to go 2-0 up. Satoshi Otomo misfired on a 26th minute attempt, while Izo Elhabib missed two more including a bicycle kick from pointblank range minutes later.

Pascual, who once played for Global, then broke the hearts of his former teammates as he made beautiful saves on Hartmann and Elhabib's attempts in the second half.

But his new club, however, failed to steal the win as Patrick Deyto saved late shots by Lopez Mendy and Shapay Johnson in stoppage time.