Darryl Roberts buried the equalizer as Global Cebu FC salvaged a 3-3 draw with also-ran Ilocos United FC in the lone Philippines Football League (PFL) game on Wednesday at the President Elpidio Quirino Stadium in Bantay, Ilocos Sur.
Roberts slotted home the ball off a setpiece late in the match, saving the shorthanded People’s Club from absorbing an embarrassing loss to the cellar-dwelling Conquistadors.
With the stalemate, the Finals Series-bound Global Cebu improved to 44 points built on 12 wins and eight draws against six losses.
Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas missed the services of key players Misagh Bahadoran, Patrick Deyto, Paolo Salenga, Hikaru Minegishi, Paul Mulders and Dennis Villanueva, who were included in the lineup of the Philippine men’s national football team for the game against Nepal on Tuesday in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 qualifiers.
Amani Aguinaldo also missed the action as the veteran defender is still recovering from an injury.
Ilocos United, on the other hand, hiked its tally to eight points on a lone win and five draws against a league-worst 20 defeats.
The rookies from Vigan, nevertheless, avoided a fall to the wrong end of a sweep as they settled for a draw with the Visayan club in their fourth and final elimination round encounter.
Rufo Sanchez notched an early opener for Global, coming up a slick dribble to the middle before firing home with just eight minutes past the kickoff.
Ilocos pulled level in the 32nd minute as Arthur Kouassi made no mistake from the penalty spot against the debuting goalkeeper John Lloyd Bastasa.
Charlie Beaton scored the second goal for the home squad in the 42nd, giving them a slim 2-1 lead at the break.
A few minutes after the restart, Roberts put the game on a deadlock again as the Trinidadian striker scored off the parried shot by Sanchez.
Kennedy Uzoka outran his defenders at the middle to complete the host’s counter-attack in the 67th for a 3-2 advantage, drawing chants from the raucous home fans.
Roberts spoiled the celebration as the forward found the target off a setpiece for the equalizer with just 14 minutes remaining in the regulation.
JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA