Global beats Stallion, nears UFL double

Global's Arthur Kouassi celebrates his first goal against Stallion. Global just need a point in their next game to clinch the title. UFL PHOTO.

Global's Arthur Kouassi celebrates his first goal against Stallion. Global just need a point in their next game to clinch the title. UFL PHOTO.

Arthur Kouassi struck twice as Global blanked Stallion, 3-0, Sunday to move within a point from clinching the United Football League title at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Ivorian striker scored both goals in the first half, before Omid Nazari curled home a sublime free kick four minutes from time as Global jacked up its tally to 44 points for a nine-point gap at the top with two matches remaining.

Global only needs a draw against Laos on Sunday to capture the crown and complete a rare season double, a feat last pulled off by Stallion in 2013.

Stung by a 0-2 loss to JP Voltes last Wednesday, Global set out with a more aggressive approach early on, pressing high and attacking at every opportunity.

Patrick Deyto also sparkled on goal for Global, denying Balot Doctora early on, before Kouassi’s deflected strike beat Ref Cuaresma in the 27th minute.

It was 2-0 just before halftime with Kouassi on the firing end anew, this time, scoring from a tight angle after picking up Serge Kaole’s throw-in on the turn.

Nazari got on the scoresheet when his curling 30-yard free kick left Cuaresma rooted to his spot.

Global coach John Burridge hailed his squad’s spirit as the reigning UFL Cup champions bounced back from their first loss of the season in impressive fashion.

“It was very difficult because we’re in the business end of the season,” Burridge said. “The players in the dressing room they knew that if they lose, the pressure is on. Against JP Voltes, it was exactly the same. When you get in that position it’s so close yet so far and then you make mistakes because of tension.”

Burridge was particularly impressed at the way his team defended Stallion.

“They went out and defended fantastic. And in this team if we keep a clean sheet, we have players that will score goals. Our goalkeeper was magnificent. He made one fantastic save in the first half that would have put them 1-0 up and then it was 2-0, he made another terrific save from the free kick which would have been 2-1.”

Burridge said Global cant take Laos lightly despite their woeful record.

“It’s not over yet. We can’t take Laos for granted. We need one point and I will not rest until we get that one point,” he added.

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