Singapore’s Home United crushed Philippines’ Global Cebu FC’s dreams of entering the 2017 AFC Cup finals with two late goals that sealed their slot for the ASEAN Zonal Finals of the tournament.

 

Croatian national Stipe Plazibat’s late brace in the 89th minute and third minute of the stoppage time ended the 10-man Global Cebu FC’s campaign to reach the next stage of the AFC Cup with a 3-2 victory. Home United FC advanced to the finals as it led Global Cebu FC with a 5-4 score on aggregate.

 

It was not an easy win for the Singaporean club as Global was more than determined to make up for the last-minute draw of Home United, which gave them an advantage coming into the second leg. The People’s Club from Visayas, as Global Cebu FC is also known, opened the scoring for the second leg early. A shot just right in the penalty area from Kemy Agustien in the sixth minute gave the team the advantage they were looking for. But The Protectors from Singapore would not give up that easily so early in the game and their relentlessness was rewarded before half time. Song Ui-young scored an equalizer in the 36th minute with an amazing half-volley from 20 yards out of the goal mouth bringing the hosts’ lead up again.

 

Global intensified their attack and Shu Sasaki was fortunate to break in the Singaporean team’s strong defense with a very low header in the 49th minute. Everything was going well for the Philippine side and Global seemed well in control of the game up until Dennis Villanueva was handed a straight red card with a dangerous challenge that saw his foot flying and seemingly out to kick another player. With a vague sense of déjà vu from the team’s home game that saw Amani Aguinaldo sent off in the 75th minute, Global’s control began to waver as Home United’s attacks apparently became too much for their 10-man defense.

 

While it seemed that Global was close to advancing to the ASEAN Zonal Finals on aggregate, Plazibat poked in a late goal that set the score at 2-2 before stoppage time was added. And before extra time could be added to settle the draw, Plazibat once again struck a fantastic goal from a freekick that saw the ball go past Patrick Deyto’s hands and secure the win for the Singaporean club. Home United FC will go against Ceres Negros FC, which defeated Johor Dar’ul Tazim in a controversial match, for the ASEAN Zonal Finals in August.

 

While Plazibat was hailed as a hero in the Singaporean side, Global’s goalkeeper was vilified for conceding goals at the dying minutes of each game. He has been continuously mocked and criticized for allegedly “choking” on important moments that could have changed the outcome of the matches.

“I’m disappointed because in the past three of four games we always concede at the last minute,” Deyto told Spin.ph. “I don’t know what’s wrong. We have to analyze the problem because we cannot keep going like this.”

 

Global Cebu FC also lost versus Ceres-Negros as Jeffrey Christiaens netted the game’s lone goal at the 83rd minute to award the Cebu-based club its first loss of the for the PFL season.