Former second division team JP Voltes FC dealt leading team Glo-bal FC its first setback of the season, 2-0, in the second round of the United Football League (UFL) at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Wednesday.
Coming off a loss against Loyola Meralco Sparks FC, the Japanese-backed brigade came back with a vengeance to taint Global’s unblemished slate.
Voltes quickly took control of the game with consecutive attacks led by the duo of Takashi Odawara and Takumi Uesato.
The relentless assaults of JP Voltes finally paid off in the 37th minute as ex-Global FC defender Masaki Yanagawa scored off a corner kick by playing coach Yu Hoshide.
Global mounted an offensive but was unsuccessful as the match entered halftime with Voltes on top, 1-0.
Global FC initiated a series of attacks through Azkals star Misagh Bahadoran and Ivorian striker Arthur Kouassi in the second half but still failed to pierce Voltes’ back line.
Problems piled up for Global in the dying minutes of the game after Bahadoran got a straight red card in the 68th minute following a hard foul on Voltes goalkeeper Nelson Gasic.
It was a toe-to-toe battle until the final minutes of play but it was Voltes who came out victorious, capping of the heated bout with a breakaway goal by Odawara in injury time.
“Of course, I can say that I am very happy that we won this game especially that Global is my former team. I am very happy right now,” said head coach Hoshide, who played for Global in his early years in the UFL.
The veteran Japanese midfielder added that they treat every game as a big game, “Every game is very important. I always tell that to the players because we are from the second division and we are always the challengers. We always have to work harder than our opponents.”
Meanwhile, Hoside said they now aim to finish the season at No.2, adding that it would be a good development for the young club.
“I don’t know if we can still be champions or not but hopefully, as long as we get second place at the end, that would be good for us,” he concluded.
Despite the loss, Global FC is still on top of the league standings with 13 wins, two draws and a defeat for 41 points while Voltes is provisional No. 2 with 11 victories, two draws and four defeats.