FOR the third straight game, Global Cebu FC will play in hostile grounds, this time in Bacolod against Ceres FC in the final. That’s after playing twice in Manila against Meralco.
Global supposedly declined the hosting last Nov. 29 but inexplicably sent a letter to the PFL asserting its right to host the final. Something doesn’t jive, right?
Anyway, that’s all water under the bridge, and anything we say or write won’t change the scenario, Global Cebu will be visiting Ceres Negros, playing at a packed Panaad where Ceres hasn’t lost a PFL match.
Yes, the odds are stacked against Global but for me, that’s the reason why Global has all the advantages.
Ceres hasn’t lost at home and is expected to win; heck, against bitter rival Global, there is only one acceptable outcome, winning the title at home.
As for Global, the Cebu club has already “won” just by making the final. It beat No. 1 Meralco in the semis despite not hosting any home game and is already assured of a spot in the AFC, its target all season long.
Nobody expects Global to win. Sure, it beat Ceres the last time the two met but for all intents and purposes, that “scrimmage” doesnt count. Not only were both teams holding back. I think it was a “desired outcome” as that meant the two would avoid a semis clash, which they did.
The last game I saw between the two, Global’s 1-0 win at home last July 5 was a lucky escape for Global. Ceres keeper Roland Muller also got an early red card, tilting the favor to the home team. This time around, both teams will be on an even slate, no suspended players nor injured ones.
Ceres, too, got its most important 12th man and its a powerful motivator. Global will be lucky if it gets 20 people in a sea of Ceres yellow.
And in front of its home crowd, Ceres has to be at its best. It has to win. I think as early as the first leg of the semis, the Ceres players have had visions of a trophy parade.
A victory at home. They have written the script. Win at all cost. Anything short is a disaster.
The odds are stacked against Global. Ceres has all the advantages and the pressure. Global only needs to play their game. There’s no pressure on them.
And that’s why no matter how dire the odds are, I like Global’s chances.
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on December 15, 2017.
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