CEBU CITY, Philippines – Global FC shone as bright as its yellow kits in hacking out a 5-0 win over Yeedzin FC of Bhutan to start off their campaign on the right foot in the AFC President’s Cup Group B qualifiers last night at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Pressing high, winning balls and showing nifty passing, the “boys in yellow” rifled in four goals in the first 20 against an overmatched Bhutanese side to set the tone for their maiden triumph before a delightful 2,500 strong supporters who even came in with drums.
With the win, the debutant in the tournament for clubs from “emerging” football nations in Asia grabbed the early lead in Group B with three points.
This came after Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) of Pakistan created noise at the start of the qualifiers by forcing fancied Dordoi of Kyrgyzstan to a 1-1 draw in the first game.
Patrick Reichelt, a Fil-German who traces his roots to Argao, opened up scoring five minutes into the game with a well-placed header off a free kick. Carli de Murga, Ben Starosta and Misagh Bahadoran took turns slamming the ball home in the 15 minutes that succeeded Reichelt’s header.
Marwin Angeles rounded up the scorers with a header off a corner at the 64th minute.
KRL skipper Samar Ishaq knocked in a penalty kick at the 51st minute to level the count and make way for the unexpected result against Dordoi, a two-time champion and perennial contender. Ishaq’s goal evened out the earlier connection of Vadim Kharchenko (23rd), which put the Kyrgyz booters up front.
Global made history as the first Pinoy club to break into the President’s Cup, the club equivalent of the AFC Challenge Cup. And team owner Dan Palami believes other Phl clubs will later follow suit.
“This is not just for Global FC. It’s actually a milestone for all clubs in the Phl. We may be the first club but certainly we will not be the last. Now the door has been opened, we’ll see more clubs being able to participate even in stronger tournaments in the future,” said Palami.