DARRYL Roberts’ golden touch in a two-minute span completed a remarkable comeback for Global Cebu FC, 4-2, against Magwe FC in their Group F match in the AFC Cup in Yangon.
The win puts Global Cebu on top at 12 points at four wins and one loss, while 2015 champion Johor Darul Ta’Zim of Malaysia is second with 10 points. Beoungket Angkor, which lost to Johor, 3-0, also on Wednesday is third with four points and Magwe is last with two points.
Fresh from its morale-boosting 3-2 win over Johor at home April 4, Global seemed headed for yet another rout as it dominated most of the possession of the first half. But poor finishing did them and a lucky break for the hosts in the 38th saw Kyaw Naing Naing getting past Patrick Deyto in Magwe’s lone attack.
In the second half, substitute Paolo Salenga had the best chance for an equalizer with a shot inside the box but he somehow skied his shot but five minutes later, there was no mistake. Matthew Hartmann tried from right flank and keeper Phyo Kyaw Zin deflected it straight to Hikaru Minegishi, who had an easy tap-in into the empty net.
Global needed 10 more minutes for the lead but waited only seconds for an insurance goal, both courtesy of Daryl Roberts.
Roberts stripped a defender off the ball and got past Zin easily, while barely a minute later, Minegishi saved the ball from going out of bounds, and connected with Roberts, whose shot left the keeper and defense unable to react.
Six minutes later, it was Shu Sasaki’s turn to score as Global completed the rout despite allowing an injury time goal to Naing Lin Tun.
Global will close out its campaign at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on May 3 against Beoungket Angkor, while Johor will face Magwe on the same day.
Meanwhile, Ceres Negros FC made it two in a row for Filipino clubs in the AFC With an impressive 6-2 rout of Hanoi at the Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod. Bienvenido Maranon scored the opener in the 13th and Kevin Ingreso made it 2-0 in the 21st.
Pham Thanh Loung got Hanoi back in the game in the 25th minute but Ceres scored four more times in the second half for their second win in five matches.
Both Ceres and Hanoi have eight points in five matches and with head-to-head used to break deadlocks, Ceres leads Group G. Ceres can seal its entry to the next stage with a win over Tampine Rovers on May 3. Ceres beat Tampine, 5-0, last March 7.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on April 21, 2017.
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