Sudden shift in formation sees Marcaida weather the storm against Global

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With the physicality of the game and the pressure of going unscathed in the group stages of the Copa Paulino Alcantara, Kaya FC-Iloilo head coach Noel Marcaida needed some changes in their formation within the match after losing Eric Giganto on a red card to make it through the final whistle. 

In a match where Kaya was seen to be the inevitable winner, a resilient Global-Cebu FC side went out swinging to keep their cup dreams alive. The first five minutes of the match saw Joshua Beloya scoring a magnificent volley then followed by continuous pressure by the third-placed team against the group leaders.

Kaya tried to claw their way back to the match but Global had every answer to their attack. As the physicality went into the heads of the players, Eric Giganto was tackled rather harshly by a sliding Jordan Jarvis who seemed to have elbowed Giganto on the face. The former FEU standout then retaliated with an elbow to the chest which resulted to a straight red card from the referee.

Luckily enough for Kaya, shortly after the red card, Miguel Tanton saw his free kick bounce its way towards the goal. It seemed like the men in yellow are focused more on defending after Giganto’s sending off as Kaya FC head coach Noel Marcaida retained their 4-4-1 formation until the end of the first half.

The second half came off to a blitz as both sides looked to get the upper hand right from the get-go. Former Kaya FC player Charlie Beaton then scored on the 56th minute after breaking loose from Audie Menzi on the left. Marcaida saw a need for a change in tactics as he shifted from a 4-4-1 to a more attacking 3-4-2 formation.

“When they (Global) scored the goal, we shifted to 3-4-2 to give us more options and more players upfront,” said Marcaida when asked about the sudden change in the formation of his squad. It proved to pay its dividends as the moment they shifted their tactical setup, Robert Lopez Mendy scored a goal from an assist from co-striker Jovin Bedic. Although they would concede another goal through Jordan Jarvis on the 63rd minute, Marcaida retained the 3-4-2 formation and saw themselves equalising again on the 73rd minute through the league’s top-scorer Mendy.

“Whenever we go inside the pitch, we always trust our players. We give them 100% trust and it shows in the full 90 minutes how the players really performed especially the 10 men who finished the game so [the] 3-4-2 is [an] adjustment wherein we wanted to put more players upfront for us to win the game but we’re happy we got the point,” said Marcaida.

It goes to show that not only was the man calling the shots was focusing solely on developing his goalkeepers in their training, but also was brilliant enough to make the changes necessary to win or to at least get the draw against a very competitive Global FC squad.