Scrappy Global beats pesky Magwe to begin AFC Cup stint right

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Misagh Bahadoran was cool as ice, with the skipper netted the lone winner to give Global a good AFC Cup headstart.
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- With a scrappy display on the pitch, Global have began their AFC Cup campaign in a bright note, dispatching a pesky Magwe side by the slimmest of scorelines Tuesday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Although skipper Misagh Bahadoran had lone strike in the first half, the central defensive partnership of Amani Aguinaldo and Wesley Dos Santos helped Patrick Deyto in getting a clean sheet, shutting down the Burmese side's attack that had a tall Sekou Sylla as their primary striker in the process to come up with valuable three points in ASEAN zone's Group F.

Global dominated for almost the entirety of the match, yet despite having 10 shots on goal and had the ball 16 percent more than last season's Aung San Shield holders, Toshiaki Imai's men thought that they should have scored more right off the opening whistle while going on a 4-1-4-1 compared to the conventional 4-4-2 by Zaw Win Tun's booters.

Chances were few and far in between for most of the match in the first 38 minutes, as both sides playing contrasting styles, with Global varying their play from keeping possession up to utilizing crosses from their wingers for maximising their height advantage, while Magwe have to be contented with the counter attack that hardly affect the home side's defence.

However it was Global who got the goal a minute later, with Matthew Hartman supplying the cross from the left wing, and the mercurial right winger used his smarts to beat Jean Oula on his left foot before smacking ball to the left side of the net past Kyaw Zin Phyo with his right foot to put them up front at half time.

The last UFL champs could have made it two-up six minutes at the restart, but the skipper skied his header over the bar.

Magwe had their golden opportunity to equalize in the 55th minute, but the header by Soe Maung Maung from a Nandy Kyaw free kick went over the bar.

Despite missing more chances, Global are glad to take maximum points heading into their two-game ASEAN trip that will cap off with a showdown with former AFC Cup holders JDT on March 14.

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