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Misagh leads the way as Global blitzes Ceres again to snatch UFL Cup for the second time

Kevin Estrada



By Kevin Estrada

MANILA-- They came. They saw. They conquered.

Global won their second UFL Cup, after another mastery of reigning league champions Ceres, 3-1 in Saturday's final at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Skipper and Golden Ball Awardee Misagh Bahadoran had a huge hand in all of the goals scored for Leigh Manson, scoring on both halves for a brace and assisted on Matthew Hartmann's strike in the first half to equal Philippine Air Force's record for most UFL Cups won.

The win in the final gave them a playoff spot in next season's AFC Cup, but notably gave closure and redemption from last year, where they were kicked out of that tournament in the most controversial fashion that highlighted their trophyless campaign.

Nate Burkey pulled a goal back for Ali Go, but it was a case of too little too late for Bacolod's finest as Cup glory eluded them for the second consecutive season. The loss also compounds their winless run against Global that is now stretched to five matches from last season.

With a lot at stake, as well as PFF President Mariano Araneta and Azkals head coach Thomas Dooley in attendance, both clubs had their guns blazing at the start of the final, with Patrick Reichelt coming close twice in the first five minutes, but Patrick Deyto stands on his way.

Global drew first blood in the 21st minute, when the winger pounced his rebound from inside the six-yard box after Louie Casas initially blocked his first tryst on goal.

Three minutes later, Hartmann doubled their lead after benefiting from Bahadoran's work from the right wing, as he wriggled free from a shellshocked Ceres defense to slice his left-footed shot into the bottom right corner.

Luck played a major part in the second half when Global dodged a massive bullet eleven minutes at the restart with appeals for handball. But referee Clifford Daypuyat said play on and Bahadoran completed his brace on the counterattack by pouncing on a listless Ceres who continued complaining about the non-call, much to the anger of their supporters.

The Busmen's day went from bad to worse at the hour mark as a livid Ali Go was tossed by the fourth official, with James Dinsay followed suit afterwards.

Burkey got Ceres' consolation with a floating header twenty minutes from full time, but it was all that the Busmen wrote for the final as Global held on to complete their mission for redemption.

Global dominated the awards after the match, with Deyto and Amani Aguinaldo joining Bahadoran by grabbing their Golden Glove and best defender plum respectively.

Earlier, Kaya came from a goal down to defeat Stallion, 2-1 to clinch third.

Robert Lopez Mendy's brace was vital as he broke the stalemate with Alvaro Castiella to win the Golden Boot.

Mendy's teammate Miguel Tanton was also adjudged as the best midfielder of the Cup later in the final.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada