Global deposes Kaya to take second place

Daisuke Sato joins Paolo Salenga in celebrating the latter's quick goal. Mark Cristino/UFL
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--Global officially clinched the second place in the UFL after downing Kaya, 3-1, on Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The erstwhile champion team, however, had to buck the ejection of Jason De Jong and a late Kaya threat to keep an early lead intact and secure the runner-up finish.

Paolo Salenga opened Global's offensive right after the opening whistle as he took advantage of an early defensive lapse by Kaya and scored just 25 seconds into the game.

Izo Elhabib nearly made it 2-0 four minutes later as he took the penalty kick off a foul by Junior Muñoz inside the box only to be thwarted by Nick O'Donnell, the second straight match a Global penalty was saved.

But Misagh Bahadoran made up for Elhabib's miss as he headed the ball in off the corner in the ensuing moment.

Kaya began to pick up steam later in the game as the club got open lanes for its attempts although to no avail.

The club got more advantage as De Jong got sent off for a hard foul on Jovin Bedic in the 56th minute. De Jong was earlier booked for delaying the match in the first half.

Tishan Hanley finally found the net in the 83rd minute as he pulled Kaya to within one with ample time left to at least force the draw.

But with O.J. Porteria not suiting up on Saturday, the club failed to follow up on Hanley's goal, and Pika Minigeshi delivered in the end with the dagger goal with less than a minute left in the match.

Global, which made last year's AFC Cup group stages, got a better chance of clinching a spot in the qualifiers. Global must need to win the UFL Cup or hope that Ceres, which will enter next year's edition outright, will take the season-ending conference title.