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Villanueva scores game-winner as Global escapes Stallion

By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--In a performance reminiscent of his club's PFF-Smart Championship semifinal win, Dennis Villanueva proved clutch again.

Villanueva scored the clinching goal as Global survived a highly-physical encounter and trounced Stallion, 2-1, in the nightcap of Saturday's UFL schedule at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Villanueva, who scored Global's go-ahead goal in the PFF-Smart Championship Final Four match with Ceres last month, drilled the dagger with one minute left in regulation as Global escaped with a win in match full of bookings.

Stallion's Balut Doctora got the match's first yellow card in the 22nd minute following a tussle with Mark Hartmann, while Amani Aguinaldo also saw yellow ten minutes later.

Jordan Mintah also got booked in the 36th minute for an apparent elbow on Hikaru Minigeshi. A Global assistant coach complained to the referee on why he only flashed a yellow card. The referee immediately told the assistant coach to leave the pitch.

More yellow cards followed in the second half as Masaki Yanagawa and Sean Bateau each got one for an altercation in the 52nd minute and Louis Kaole also got booked in the 71st minute.

Hartmann drew first blood for Global eight minutes into the game as he followed up a Satoshi Otomo shot that hit the crossbar. Mintah, however, equalized six minutes later.

It took 75 minutes before Villanueva put a good ending to what was an entertaining match by also getting a second serving and delivering the game-winner.

Global, now with ten points and still unbeaten after four matches, got a morale-boosting win in time for their AFC Cup clash with South China at the said venue on Wednesday night.