It might not have been pretty but it was still a win nonetheless for the University of Santo Tomas Lady Booters.
The Espana-based team ended its inconsistent UAAP Season 81 Women’s Football Tournament first round campaign on a high note with a 2-1 victory over the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles, Saturday afternoon, at the Circulo Verde field in Quezon City.
“Masaya dahil nanalo pero pagdating sa performance ng UST team, hindi talaga nakakatuwa. Sobrang sumabay sa sobrang bagal, sumabay na hindi tumatakbo, nakatayo lang so hindi talaga nakakatuwa on my part,” commented UST coach Aging Rubio.
The Lady Eagles enjoyed an early advantage when Nicole Bugayong shot past Lady Booters goalkeeper Nicole Reyes at the 7th minute.
UST, though, answered back eight minutes after they conceded. Hazel Lustan found space to shoot and the Lady Booters skipper calmly turned the ball into the net.
However, the period was also notable for Bhebe Lemoran’s 38th minute substitution for Mika Punzalan. Lemoran has been one of the Lady Booters’ main stars and to see her go off the ptich early was one of the game’s big surprises.
“Si Bhebe kasi nagsimila yung season talagang stamina-wise, off talaga. I mean gustohin lang niya tumakbo sana, yun lang naman kailangan ko kahit kulang siya sa stamina. Hindi ko pa rin nakikita so gusto ko na lang bigyan ng chance yung ibang (player) na gustong-gusto (maglaro) din,” explained Rubio.
Lustan’s strike signaled the turning of the tide for UST. Only two minutes after the restart, Cecile Deita’s long-range effort handed the Lady Booters their first taste of the lead.
Ateneo tried to find a way back in the game and it fell narrowly short because of some fine defensive plays. UST substitute goalkeeper Beatriz Sacdalan performed a point-blank save to deny Martina Roxas while Ann Cabrera saw her free kick cleared off the line by a Lady Booters defender deep into stoppage time.
Ateneo finishes the first round against neighbors University of the Philippines Lady Maroons on March 20, 2019, 1:00 PM at Circulo Verde. On the other hand, UST (7 points) awaits news for its second round fixtures.
ADMU XI: Adao, Almeda, Bautista, Bugayong, Cabrera, Calimbo, Caparros (GK, C), Catedrilla, De Luna, Diaz, Roxas.
UST XI: Cadag, Dahildahil, Durano, Espiritu, Indac, Lemoran, Lopez, Lustan ©, Panes, Reyes (GK), Yanto.
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