MANILA, Philippines - Ruben Doctora Jr. produced a late goal as defending champion Stallion Gilligan escaped with a 3-3 draw against solo leader Global FC in the First Division of the United Football League at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig City Thursday night.
Doctora, a Barotac Nuevo native and a member of the Phl Azkals team, earlier assisted on two goals by teammates Fitch Arboleda clear and Naser Doroudian before delivering the match-tying kick on the 79th minute to keep Stallion at No. 4 with 24 points.
The standoff hiked Global FC’s total to 38, but the draw enabled Kaya and Loyola Meralco Sparks to close in with 33 points apiece.
“I think Stallion worked very, very hard and basically put us under a lot of pressure. Our players, surprisingly, buckled under that, I felt,” said Global coach Leigh Manson. “To be fair to the boys they’re holding their hands up. I’m still a little bit shocked to be perfectly honest. We had good training all week, we were very confident.
“And then we’ve seen close to our strongest squad just basically fall apart. There are questions being asked of our character,” said Global head coach Leigh Manson. The Scot, however, wasn’t allowing the draw to dampen his mood on the title race’s big picture. “We’re one point further ahead than we were before the start of the game,” he added.
Earlier, Army-General Trias International leaned on Jeon Shin Seok and Song Woo, who scored two goals as it turned back Pasargad, 2-1, to overtake Pachanga PLDT Home Fibr at No. 6 with 17 points.
Daisuke Sato shattered the scoreless deadlock just before halftime to hand Stallion the one-point cushion. Milad Behgandom struck early in the second half from the far corner to make it a 2-0 lead.