RHB Singapore Cup 2017: Global Survive Boeung Ket Onslaught To Progress
Written by: Rashid Sulaiman
Despite going down 2-1 to a spirited Boeung Ket FC in the RHB Singapore Cup 2017 quarter-final second leg at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday night, Global Cebu FC advanced to the last four with a 4-3 aggregate win.
Paolo Salenga opened the scoring for Global within four minutes into the match while Khuon Laboravy and Esoh Omogba responded for Boeung Ket but it proved inconsequential.
After their 3-1 win over the Cambodians in the first leg, Global’s head coach Akbar Nawas had admitted that his players were suffering both physically and mentally due to their congested domestic fixtures and the long hours travelling in Philippines.
Although the People’s Club started brightly, they began to show signs of tiredness as the match went on with their opponents beginning to dominate the match, throwing numbers forward in search of overturning the tie.
And the Philippines Football League side would take the lead as Salenga - who netted a brace in the first leg - did well to find space in the box to connect well with Hikaru Minegishi’s cross and put them in front.
That goal however did not dampen Boeung Ket’s morale as they reorganised and pressed on for an equaliser.
Captain Laboravy marshalled the middle of the park, while their two African strikers Omogba and Samuel Ajayi taunted Global’s defence with their mazy runs.
They were rewarded six minutes later as Ajayi waltzed past the Global’s backline and teed up Laboravy who slammed the ball into the back of the net.
Hao Socheat’s charges could have added their second midway through the first half but Ly Mizan was denied by the heroics of Patrick Deyto in the 28th minute.
Deyto was once again called to action as he palmed away Khiev Vibol’s stinging effort from the set-piece.
The half-time team talk by Akbar spurred his team to add to their tally as they started the second half on the offensive.
Paul Mulders, playing his first match in three weeks was deployed in a more attacking role and it almost paid dividends ten minutes after the restart.
The 36-year old took a crack at goal from about 30 yards out but it was poorly palmed away by Sou Yaty.
Former Trinidad and Tobago international Darryl Roberts was then the quickest to react to the loose ball but his attempt from close range was acrobatically tipped over the bar by the Boeung Ket custodian.
Not wanting to go down without a fight, Boeung Ket tried their best to penetrate the tight Global’s defence with Omogba and Ajayi trading passes in the final third with Mizan and Math Yamoin making runs down the flanks.
Their perseverance finally paid off eight minutes after the hour mark as the Cambodians added their second of the night.
Ajayi played a clever low ball behind the defence to Mizan who twinkled his way past his marker before sending a tantalising ball to the middle of the box for Omogba to coolly head home and make it 3-4 on aggregate.
Needing one more goal to force the match into extra-time, Boeung Ket struggled to find a way past Deyto as the 27-year old thwarted every ball that came his way.
In the 82nd minute, the Boeung Ket bench was up on their feet as Ayaji beat past Global’s defence but they were left frustrated as the striker’s effort was cleared off the line by Jerry Barbaso.
With the clock ticking towards the end of regulation time, Global put all their players behind the ball as they defended their slender one-goal aggregate advantage.
Despite Boeung Ket’s best efforts to find the elusive goal, the People’s Club hung on to advance to the last four of the RHB Singapore Cup where they will face either Hougang United or Nagaworld FC.
Global Cebu FC Head Coach Akbar Nawas: “We only had three substitutes on the bench and to switch tactically is impossible as they are not defensive players. They are young and are not tested in a game of such magnitude.”
“Given our circumstances where the players are tired, to lose the game but go through on aggregate, I will take it. I said previously that it was a tale of four halves and we won it.
“He (Patrick Deyto) is very reliable, as he is the Azkals national team goalkeeper. He is commanding and keeps communicating with the fullbacks and up to the forward, he dominate the box very well. Credit to him we are in the semi-finals as he made three or four point blank saves.”
Boeung Ket FC Head Coach Hao Socheat: “We played very well compared to the first leg. The problem is we conceded the goal very early in the match.
“After that we controlled the game and scored two goals. But today maybe just not our day as we tried our best but could not find the third goal.”
Global Cebu FC: Patrick Deyto (GK), Paul Mulders, Dennis Villanueva, Misagh Bahadoran (C), Jerry Barbaso, Hikaru Minegishi, Darryl Roberts, Mario Clarino, Paolo Salenga (Paolo Bugas 70’), Marco Casambre, Wesley Dos Santos
Boeung Ket FC: Sou Yaty (GK), Sok Sovan, Hikaru Mizuno, Math Yamoin, Khuon Laboravy (C), Ly Mizan, Sun Sovanrithy, Khiev Vibol (Sok Pheng 85’), Rous Samoeum, Esoh Omogba, Samuel Ajayi