MANILA, Philippines – Global Cebu FC came from behind to stun top seeded FC Meralco Manila, 2-1, to open the Philippines Football League (PFL) Finals Series on Saturday, December 2, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
After a scoreless first half, Tahj Minniecon of Meralco ended the drought with a penalty kick in the 61st minute that initially sent the Global goal keeper Patrick Deyto the wrong way to register the series' first away goal
Minniecon almost doubled the lead 7 minutes later, but Deyto came out to block the fiery winger's shot.
Global struggled offensively for most of the match as the team failed to move forward to their attacking third until Wesley Dos Santos fired a header at the 90th minute. Two minutes later, Paolo Salenga – who was subsitituted in the 78th minute – came up big with a cross to Hikaru Minegeishi who converted it at the edge of the box.
In the first half, Meralco continued to threaten Global throughout the game with Meralco winger Minniecon attempting a number of chances. Deyto was successfully making crucial saves throughout the first half against the first seeded team.
The match turned physical in the 27th minute when Meralco's Connor Tacagni was booked for a tackle on Wesley Dos Santos. Paul Mulders then followed in the 34th minute as he picked up his first yellow for Global Cebu after clipping Minniecon.
4th seeded Global Cebu hosted Saturday's match in Rizal Memorial due to the unavailability of the Cebu City Sports Complex on both December 2 and December 9. 1st seeded Meralco will be hosting the second leg in the same venue, but the away goals rule will still apply in this PFL semi-finals series.
The second leg will take place on Saturday, December 9, 7 pm, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. – Rappler.com
More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.