|UFL Season in review: Glory for Global
The start to its UFL campaign was far from ideal, but the finish was more than Global FC could ask for.
Kicking off its campaign with only two wins in its first four matches, Global was stuck at the middle of the table, hardly looking a contender despite stacking up its roster with standouts during the off-season.
Slowly but surely, Global quickly turned its fortunes around, mixing its defensive toughness and flashes of attacking flair and individual brilliance.
A scrambling 1-0 win over Green Archers Globe was followed by a string of blowout victories.
By the time the transfer window came in March, Global was hitting top form and was jockeying for the No. 1 spot with Loyola Meralco and Kaya as the title race began to take shape.
The arrival of Juani Guirado boosted the team’s defensive muscle, yet it was the consistent performances of UFL Golden Ball winner Carli de Murga, Misagh Bahadoran and Yu Hoshide and defenders Jerry Barbaso, Val Kama and Carlos Tressor Guisso ensured that the winning streak continued.
It hardly mattered that its starting goalkeeper Paolo Pascual was sidelined because of an injury as Jerome Etoundi held the fort and came through at critical times.
A record run of eight straight victories littered by routs against title contenders Kaya and Stallion and defending champion Air Force and a close call against basement team Navy proved to be a solid base to a title run.
Still, as the season headed into te homestretch, it was still Loyola that looked in prime position.
The Sparks blew it and Global, with Izzo El-Habbib finding his form at the right time, took pole position with wins against Stallion and Air Force.
Needing a draw to secure the title after Kaya beat Stallion to momentarily take top spot on Championship Tuesday, Global again produced a resolute defensive effort against Loyola while El-Habbib delivered the goal that sent Global to glory.