This is a rematch of the 2010 UFL Cup championship, but this time the two rivals meet in the semifinals.
Air Force has pretty much the same lineup with Nick Leonora the only notable addition, but he doesn’t get too much playing time. The other addition is more of a promotion as Air Force coach Sgt. Edzel Bracamonte, a one-time star striker for UST, Air Force, and the national team, has taken over from Edwin Cabalida, who has chosen to concentrate on the Azkals. And now the onus is on them to beat the defending champions as the Airmen has drawn twice with Global and lost a nail-biting 3-2 match in the finals of the 2010 UFL Cup.
Global is much better than it once was, and as the cup competition progressed, the team looked even more frightening with the addition of Janrick Soriano and Angel Guirado. The former adds speed while the latter adds great vision and football intelligence.
How good is Global? It won Division Two in its first year in the league. It also won the Cup last year and the SMART Club Championships playing as Teknika. For good measure, it also won in the recently-concluded Alaska Cup.
In the wake of Pasargad FC stepping down as a football power, club football supremacy is down to Air Force and Global.
Air Force has become predictable with its attack, which mostly consists of Chieffy Caligdong to Ian Araneta. And their defense isn’t that great. Not only are they small but they also aren’t particularly fast. Even worse, they have looked vulnerable in the end-game giving rise to concerns about fitness and focus.
Global, on the other hand, has done well in the second half, scoring eight of their 11 total goals in the tournament in the final 45 minutes of play.
If Bracamonte’s midfielders can stem the Global tide before they go into the attacking side then that will be a lift for their beleaguered defenders.
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