Photo by: Mark Cristino

Global off to flying start

A shorthanded Global proved too classy against an improved Pasargad side, coming away with a 2-0 win at the start of the United Football League competition at the Rizal Memorial Stadium Tuesday night.
Goals from new signings Nino Ochoterena and Ben Starosta ensured that Global opened its title defense in style despite missing key players who are on national team duty.
Three of Global’s new signings started the match with Ochoterena on the right wing, Starosta in center midfield and Aaron Altiche, who spent the past two seasons with Laos, up front partnering Izzo Elhabib.
Misagh Bahadoran returned to the starting lineup after missing the late stages of the UFL Cup due to an injury, while Val Kama, Delon Yao, Ange Tressor Guisso and Jerry Barbaso manned the backline.
Yu Hoshide wore the armband, but had little influence in the match in the first half with PSG clogging up midfield.
Global struggled to find the opening even against a three-man PSG backline. The best it could offer was an Altiche header early on that went over the abr.
On the other end, PSG was giving Global problems with goalkeeper Roland Sadia needing to be alert to keep out Hamed Hajimehdi's stinging shot from outside the box.
It took a moment of brilliance from Misagh Bahadoran to finally carve out the first clear chance for Global which Ochotorena tucked home.
Bahadoran beat two defenders on the right and sent in a low cross that rolled past several Pasargad defenders before finding Ochoterena at the far post.
Global came out of the halftime break with more vigor. With Altiche's runs giving PSG problems, El-Habbib and Starosta were given the spaces needed to be effective.
Starosta had a long-range effort wide and also forced a fine save from PSG keeper Reza Ataei on a one-on-one chance.
El-Habbib found Altiche down the middle, but Ataei was up to the task with a crucial touch, before Starosta sent the rebound off target.
El-Habbib was booked for an altercation with Reza, whose theatrics had apparently annoyed some of the Global players.
Global was finally rewarded for all the second half pressure with Starosta's glancing header off a Yu Hoshide cross beating Reza 15 minutes from time.
Global coach Brian Reid had one more move before the final whistle, giving Carli de Murga precious two minutes on the pitch. De Murga, the league's best player last season, has been bothered by a hamstring problem the past two weeks.

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