With the Loyola Meralco Sparks and Kaya FC playing out an enthralling 2-2 draw last Saturday, the door was left open for Global FC to reclaim the top spot in Division One when it faced Green Archers Globe a day after.
As the season nears its end, the importance of taking advantage of rivals’ misfortunes is higher than ever and the pressure showed in the opening period, with Dan Palami’s side failing to break the deadlock after 45 minutes. The second half was a different story though, as the Green Archers were reduced to 10-men after Reynald Villareal was sent off for a second yellow card. The extra man advantage clearly put the match in Global’s favor, and despite goalkeeper Patrick Deyto’s best efforts to keep the match scoreless, Misagh Bahadoran finally made the breakthrough on the 59th minute.
Although Global failed to add more goals, the slender win ensures a return to the pinnacle of the league standings, two points clear of nearest rivals Loyola and Kaya.
Nomads Auction Manila also enjoyed a successful day, as it came from behind to thump Philippine Army Fritz & Macziol, 4-1. Laurence Bedua opened the scoring early for the Armed Forces side, but after the break the game took on a completely different direction. Steve Borril leveled the game two minutes after the restart, with Chris Phillimore completing the comeback in the 65th minute. Promising youngster Jeremy Theuer came on and opened his UFL scoring account with two strikes late on, adding the gloss to what has been a very impressive spell for his club.
Nomads is unbeaten in its last three games, winning two (Philippine Navy Redjuice, Army), and drawing one (Global). The latest victory means the men in green have moved to fifth place, replacing Pasargad in the top half of the table.
The Iranian-heavy side had momentarily broken into the upper echelon of the Division One standings after shocking Stallion 1-0 on Saturday.
The title race is proving to be exciting as ever as the season goes down to the wire, and the week in store will have plenty of the fans licking their lips.
After conceding a heartbreaking equalizer at the death against Loyola, eyes will be transfixed once again on Kaya as it faces Global on Wednesday night, with a tricky match against Nomads looming on Saturday. With only four matches remaining, this week could very well decide whether Kaya will remain in the running for the most prestigious UFL title ever.
Josue Jamlang covers football for InterAKTV and announces matches for AKTV on IBC. He served as an assistant technical director for the UFL during its maiden season. Follow him on Twitter for more football discussion.