Recap of Sunday's Round-of-16 games in Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. In the other game in Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, Ceres surprised Penson Stallion 1-0 to make the elite eight.
Pasargad 2, Philippine Army 1
Pasargad prevailed in a testy, sour-tempered encounter over Army thanks to goals by Jahambaksh Taher and Emmanuel Mbata.
Promise Jolomi of Pasargad was sent off with his second yellow before the thirty-minute mark, but the bigger story was his teammate, wingback Jay Torres, being carted off the pitch with a broken nose after he was elbowed by Army's Ronel Gener.
Gener, the brother of Azkal Roel, was not booked for the challenge in the 52nd minute, which, according to Dexter Roy Villaranda, the assistant referee closest to the action, was not malicious.
That assessment was belied by several other observers who felt that Gener's elbow was definitely intentional.
Taher struck off a long shot ten minutes into the match. He could have double the advantage nine minutes later if only for a fine clear off the line from Eduardo Gempisaw.
In the 22nd Pasargad made it 2-0 after Mbata collected a long goal clearance from the Iranian team's new keeper, Reza Ataei, and dribbled it down the left flank and slipping it past Ed Sacapano.
Army nearly pulled one back eight minutes later but Roel Gener's strike from distance was parried clear by Ataei.
Soon after the restart Torres was felled, and the skirmishes began, with Ronel Gener involved in some other conflicts throughout the game while some Pasargad players were obviously simulating.
Torres was substituted by Gerald Orcullo, another new signing for Esse Sadeghi's squad.
Army made their man advantage pay in the 67th in somewhat controversial circumstances.
Ataei was controlling a back pass with his feet in the penalty box when the ball rolled up off his foot and struck his hand unintentionally.
Referee Michael Bernabe awarded an indirect free kick that was tapped to substitute Jeofrey Lobaton. The veteran slammed it into the crossbar from where it fell to Yok Becite, who drove it past the keeper to close the gap.
Within the next two minutes Pasargad's Vosseba Toure and Mbata were both seen writhing on the turf in pain after challenges with Ronel Gener, the second tackle meriting a yellow card.
After the final whistle Army's Boogie Margarse and Pasargad's 18-year old Younousse Yaogo had to be separated. Margarse claimed that he was spat on by Yaogo, but Mark Anthony Fernandez, Yaogo's teammate, said afterwards that he did no such thing.
Pasargad now plays General Trias International in the semis next Sunday.
Javi Mantecon, Pasargad manager, was unhappy with the officiating, saying that “the official let things go too freely. The ref should have asserted more control in the match.”
OTHER NOTES: Fernandez and Paul Concepcion were on the roster for Air Force in the UFL Cup after previously suiting up for Pasargad. Since the Airmen did not qualify for this tournament, the two young defenders, who are not yet enlisted with Air Force, asked permission to come back to Pasargad for this competition. Their request was granted, and after this event they will play for Air Force.... Pasargad spent the first week of the year in a camp in Legaspi City.... The Iranians were without Masood Shadideh. The prolific striker was suspended by the team. Shadideh claims he has not been paid almost three months of salary and that his passport is being held by head coach Sedigh. Mantecon says that Shadideh walked out of practice after being upbraided and never returned, which is why he wasn't paid. Mantecon adds that Shadideh, one of the most lethal strikers in the UFL, owes the team P50,000 in salary advances, and that his passport is being held because of his debt to the team.... Pasargad is traditionally an Iranian team but three of the starting back four were homegrown Filipinos, namely Torres, Fernandez, and rookie Francis Sumudivilla from San Beda.
Global 2, Nomads 1.
The UFL League champs took an important step towards more silverware with a solid victory over Nomads Manila.
Carlie De Murga broke the deadlock in the 71st minute with a left footed strike that was deflected past goalie Friso Klok.
The Nomads defense, so stingy in the match, lost focus in the play and gave the Azkal far too much time to dribble and take his shot.
Eleven minutes later Nomad's Sam Fogg inadvertently headed the ball into his own goal to seal the result at 2-0. The goal was initially credited to Patrick Reichelt.
Nomads were awarded a penalty in second half stoppage time because of a handball. New player Bafio Magassa tucked it into the top right corner past Roland Dely Sadia for 2-1, but it was too little, too late,
Both teams featured Scottish coaches making their debuts for their clubs, Brian Reid for Global and John Jofre for Nomads.
Nomads employed a very compact defense that thwarted Global's high-octane attack for much of the game. But in the last twenty minutes their conditioning betrayed them.
Jeffrey Christiaens was stellar, with two wicked left-footed turn-and-shots on either side of half time that were well-saved.
He also worked well with left back Delon Patrick Yao, whose pace and touch were a constant threat all game long.
In spite of his own goal, Nomads got a great shift from Samuel Fogg, who was heroic in defense.
“We were rusty” said Global team owner Dan Palami. “We need to play better if we want to retain this cup.”
Global, as Teknika FC, won this cup in 2011 in a two-legged final over Smart San Beda.
OTHER NOTES: During the game referee Waling Bermejo discarded one ball because it apparently was not inflated well-enough.... Jerry Barbaso wore the captain's armband for Global, who were missing Yu Hoshide in the starting lineup.... Global now plays Ceres in the quarterfinals on Saturday January 19. The winner of that match faces the winner of the Kaya-Meralco clash on the same day.... Lexter Maravilla came on for Global late. He is a former Homeless World Cup player for the Philippines... I watched the game with my buddy Joel Dabao and he and I were joking that Global's Delon Patrick Yao, an African, had a Chinese-sounding name and if you have never seen him, you might think he came from Xavier School.
You can follow Bob on Twitter @bhobg333.