Match reports from Saturday's UFL Division 1 matches in Emperador Stadium.
Global 2, Kaya 1.
Kaya's OJ Porteria is often compared to Lionel Messi. But on Saturday he did something reminiscent of another Argentinian legend, Diego Maradona.
With Kaya leading 1-0, Porteria was sent off in the 16th minute after batting a loose ball into the goal with his hand, much like “El Diez” infamously did against England in the 1986 World Cup.
Maradona got away with the sleight-of-hand then. Porteria wasn't so lucky. After an intervention from the assistant referee, main ref Christian Deck Pacana gave the midfielder a straight red, reducing Kaya to ten men to the howls of protest of coach David Perkovic and his charges.
Porteria had earlier scored the opening goal in the fourth minute off an indirect free kick after Global keeper Paolo Pascual shockingly handled a back pass near the penalty spot.
Pascual got the nod from Global coach Leigh Manson after a rough outing from Roland Sadia in Global's opening loss to Loyola.
Global exploited the man advantage by drawing level a minute before the half-hour mark thanks to a header from right back Charles Pettys, who beat Nick O'Donnell from an acute angle. Misagh Bahadoran supplied the cross.
O'Donnell, who had been feeling ill, didn't start the game, but Kaya netminder Mark Sorongon hurt his knee early in a collision with Mojtaba Miromohammadi, and soon after requested to be subbed, paving the way for O'Donnell to play.
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Eight minutes before the half Global exploited hesitant goalkeeping from the Fil-Canadian to go ahead 2-1 with Val Kama's strike.
Kaya gave a valiant effort in the second half to try and level the game. But down one man, it just wasn't in the cards. Their best chance was a volley from Joven Bedic that went straight to Pascual's gut twelve minutes from time.
It's a maiden win for Global coach Manson, who aside from making the switch in goal, also started veteran Yu Hoshide and yanked Iranian defender Hamed Kakavand, putting Patrick Delon Yao in his place in the center of the defense.
Several observers thought the red on Porteria was harsh, including former Global defender Badz Elhabbib, Aussie coach Andrew Fletcher, former Kaya striker Sean Iliff, and Pachanga PLDT Home Fibr coach Noel Marcaida, who all were at the game. All said a yellow card would have been a fairer call. However it is apparently within the referee's discretion to give a player his marching orders for a handball goal.
This was disputed by Kaya veteran Anton del Rosario, who released this tweet with a picture of the rules governing this kind of action.
Porteria was unwilling to make a comment on the card after the match.
Loyola 5, Army GTI 1
“He always makes himself available” said Phil Younghusband of his Loyola strike partner, Freddy Gonzalez after a comfortable win over Army.
“You can never say he's lazy. I turn to look for him and he's always creating an option.”
The two forwards combined for three goals and two assists as Loyola remained perfect after two league matches.
Phil kicked off the scoring in the 26th with a tap-in from inches away after Matt Hartmann narrowly missed an attempt across the face of the goal.
Eleven minutes later Gonzalez brilliantly headed back a too-strong corner kick into play from the side of the goal frame. The ball met the forehead of centerback Sam Bonney, who steered it into the net.
Six minutes into the second half Younghusband shook off a defender on the right flank and lofted a cross that Gonzalez headed into the goal off the inside of the frame for 3-0. It's the 36-year-old's second Loyola goal in as many matches.
Lee Won Hyung struck in the 76th and Phil blasted a free kick home six minutes from time to round up their team's scoring. Roel Gener pulled one back for Army with a bizarre direct score off a corner kick a minute after the hour mark. Loyola keeper Baba Sampana seemed to be caught napping on the score.
James Younghusband did not play. He is still recovering from an ankle injury sustained in last week's win over Global. Wingback Alexandro Elnar had another solid outing in relief of PJ Fadrigalan, who served the last match of his two-game suspension.
Follow Bob on Twitter @PassionateFanPH.