Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fair Play: A few tips for Cebu to beat Global FC

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 31 issue)
TWO weeks ago, Cebu Queen City United was looking forward to the next round of qualifiers of the PFF Smart Cup after routing Hijos, 8-1, in the first round.

Then Global FC comes in the picture and tears Hijos apart, 23-0, and Cebu's fate now hinges on the match against one of the top teams in the country.  There's no final date yet but there's a good chance it would happen here.

Of course, there's a story behind Global's sudden re-entry but I'm just glad the game will be played on the court, and not in the boardroom. Cebu, I heard, will wait when Global is available and won't insist on having it when the Azkals are playing abroad so Global will have a full strength squad.  That's the decent way of going about it, but it also means Cebu's chances against Global will be zero and none.

So how to beat Global, a team whose bench players are good enough to start in other squads? Here are a few ideas.

1.) Hold the welcome dinner at Jaguar.  CFA president Ricky Dakay traditionally holds a welcome dinner at his residence, but for this one, he might make an exception and hold it somewhere else.  A 9 p.m. dinner should do the trick.

Then, while Global enjoys Cebu's hospitality to the tilt, the CFA can 2.) hold the Global vs. Cebu match at 11 a.m. the next day.

Global is used to playing at night at the Emperador Stadium, welcoming them in the blazing heat at the Aboitiz Sports Field or the remnants of the pitch at the Cebu City Sports Center might get them out of their rhythm.

3.)  Fans should get in on the act.  Fans rolled out the red carpet treatment for Dan Palami's club when they played here in the AFC President's Cup.

And now, should be the exact opposite. Let's heckle and jeer them for 90 minutes and even better, let's hope Roland Sadia channel Crazy Sanogo's  spirit for the game. Yes, we all like Dan Palami and Global, but that doesn’t matter in this match. Of course, just don't forget it's just a game.

4.)  Finally, just play the game.  Cebu is expected to lose and that’s an advantage for them.  There’s no pressure.  But Global is not invincible and Queen City should get into the match with that mindset, that it can beat Global.

Besides, this Cebu team surprised Stallion, 4-1, in the UFL Cup and the players are more than capable of springing an upset.

Sometimes, too, Global is its own worst enemy, self-destructing when the going gets tough. 

Whatever the result, this Global vs. Cebu match is going to be an epic one

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