Kouassi strikes fast as undermanned Global barges into semifinal

Mark Cristino/UFL
By John Paul Abcede

MANILA--Global snuck past JP Voltes, 1-0, in their UFL Cup quarterfinal round meeting on Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium despite playing with only ten men for majority of the match.

Arthur Kouassi scored the lone goal of the match in the 57th minute moments after subbing in for Izzo Elhabib. Kouassi aimed the ball in the bottom right corner, away from the grasp of keeper Nelson Gasic.

With the victory, Leigh Manson's club will go on to meet Stallion in the semis on Wednesday. The tournament is not yet over for the Voltes though as they will go up against Green Archers United in the Plate semifinals.

Omid Nazari was booked twice two minutes apart as he was sent to the showers in the 39th minute. 

Despite being a man short, the 2010-11 Cup champions bucked the furious challenge put up by Voltes for a chance to represent the country in next year’s AFC Cup in the event they make it all the way. 

Global was the aggressive side early on as Elhabib had chances to break the scoreless deadlock but to no avail. The Swedish Filipino-Iranian was too forceful for his own good as successive fouls netted two yellow cards from referee Krizmark NaƱola.

JP Voltes had its best chance to score in the 52nd minute mark as William Espinosa’s header from Yu Hoshide’s corner kick went straight to Global GK Patrick Deyto, who deftly handled the ball with his cat-quick reflexes.

Kouassi had a chance to double his output ten minutes later, but his attempt was cleared by Gasic. Nakagaito Yuta himself in the penalty box as the match was nearing its climax, but he was stopped by Deyto.

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