Rufo Sanchez struck late as Global Cebu FC kept its Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup 2018 campaign alive with a 2-1 victory over Myanmar’s Yangon United FC on Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
Spanish striker Sanchez drained a penalty kick in the dying moments, lifting the People’s Club to its first win in four games and away from an early exit in the second-tier continental club competition.
Global Cebu, which got the opener from Darryl Roberts, remained at Group G’s cellar with four points. Nonetheless, the breakthrough win helped the Visayan club to stay in the hunt for a semifinals spot in the Asean zone.
“What’s important for us at the moment is we win, we get the three points to bring back the confidence of the players,” said Global head coach Marjo Allado.
“Also for my two strikers (Roberts and Sanchez), they unlocked their scoring (ability) already. For the past three games, they only had attempts but cannot put the ball in the net. We’re happy tonight that we get the three points and the two strikers score,” added Allado.
With only the group’s top finisher getting an outright berth to the knockout stage, the domestic runner-up needs to win its remaining matches against Indonesia’s Bali United FC and Vietnam’s FLC Thanh Hóa. The two squads fought to a goalless draw on the same match day.
Yangon United, meanwhile, saw its unbeaten run snapped though the Lions stayed atop the four-team table with nine points on three wins.
Roberts finally found the back of the net in the 78th minute when the Trinidadian forward headed home Dominic Del Rosario’s well-taken free kick.
Yangon notched an equalizer in the 89th courtesy of Maung Maung Lwin’s diving header.
With the Cebuanos moments away from a draw and elimination, Sanchez pulled off his endgame heroics.
The 5-foot-11 veteran striker drew a foul from Kekere Moukailou inside the box then calmly converted from the spot in the fourth minute of stoppage time.