With its attack clicking from start to finish, JP Voltes and Global came away with convincing victories Saturday to gain a share of top spot in the 2016 United Football League at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Voltes got a brace from Takumi Uesato and substitute Alen Angeles in a 5-0 beating of Manila Nomads for its second straight victory, while Global, flashing the depth of its squad, coasted to an 8-0 victory over Laos.
With the wins, Voltes and Global now have six points with the Japanese-flavored side just ahead of the reigning UFL Cup champions on goal difference, having beaten Pasargad, 6-0, last Saturday.
“We scored five goals but we still missed a lot of chances,” said JP Voltes skipper Yu Hoshide. “It’s difficult for us since we are still growing as a team, but we want to challenge the bigger clubs in this league.”
The team that Voltes will be facing on Thursday also delivered a comprehensive victory as Global got another brace from in-form striker Misagh Bahadoran, while OJ Clarino, Hikaru Minegishi, Paolo Bugas, Mark Winhoffer and Omid Nazari also found the back of the net for coach Leigh Manson’s side.
An own goal from Laos defender Michael Atienza, under pressure from Bahadoran, set the tone for the rout.
Carrying its fine form from the UFL Cup, Global followed up its 4-2 drubbing of Stallion with a stellar performance against an out-of-sorts Laos side, which only had one substitute on the bench.
Global started brightly with Bahadoran forcing an own goal from Atienza in the fifth minute before the skipper found the back of the net two minutes later with another stylish finish.
The best of Global’s goals came two minutes before the break when Bahadoran took Matthew Hartmann’s curling ball from midfield first time with a controlled volley past Felipe Tripulca.
Bugas scored just seconds after coming on with a tap-in from close range in the 69th minute and Winhoffer bagged his first goal for the club with a composed finish in the 75th minute. Nazari got his goal from the penalty spot in the first minute of second-half stoppage time after Minegishi, who created most of Global’s chances also joined the scoresheet in the 71st minute.
Manson was delighted at the way his team responded in the second half.
“We were quite disjointed in the first half,” Manson said. “We were holding ball to long, we played slowly, but in the second half, the tempo sped up. With Dennis (Villanueva)playing at centerback, the balls came out quicker out of the back.”
Manson also hailed the contributions of youngsters like Andreas Esweinn and Winhoffer who made an impact in the second half.
“We got a clean sheet, but what I was really pleased about was giving a chance to our younger players and seeing them play better than expected,” said Manson.