The De La Salle University men’s football team marched to their first win in the UAAP season 77 men’s football tournament after outlasting a young yet resilient Adamson University, 3-2, at the FEU-FERN pitch in Quezon City Thursday afternoon.
The Archers closed the first half with a commanding 3-1 lead, but found themselves struggling to protect the lead from the reawakened Falcons, who managed to bag one more goal and get into a series of threatening but ultimately futile attacks late in the second half.
An early goal from Gerald Layumas at the second minute of the first half gave the squad from Taft Avenue the upper hand, 1-0. Adamson’s Gerald Etis equalized at the 8th minute, sending one to the La Salle net after receiving the ball from teammate Khristian Melliza. Melliza had the chance to give the San Marcelino-based squad the advantage a minute later, finding himself one-on-one with La Sallian goalkeeper Raphael de Guzman, but had the ball swept from under his feet and moments later found himself sprawled on the ground. He was stretchered off within the following minute.
It was all La Salle from then on, as another goal from Layuma at the 32nd minute gave La Salle the 2-1 edge. Around the 35th, Gelo Diamante found the means to bag another one for La Salle, squeezing past the Adamson defense to get the easy goal and put La Salle up 3-1, a score they held on to for the remainder of the half.
Adamson however continued to attack in the second half, and at the 57th minute, Jusuel Pilarca gave the Falcons a lease on life, getting into position for an easy goal after receiving the ball from teammate de Guzman.
La Salle responded in kind by shifting their focus to the counterattack. Defender Nicholas Villacin had a perfect look on goal during a free kick at the 68th minute, but the ball was stopped by the swift hands of Adamson goalkeeper Carl Viray.
Both teams managed to get a few more good shots, but none saw the back of the net. At the end of injury time, the boys in green held on for the win.