University of Santo Tomas (UST) and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) shook of early conceded goals to emerge victorious against University of the Philippines (UP)-X and Sikat FC, respectively, Sunday morning at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Tigresses claw back against UP-X; remain unscathed
Two goals in the first half and an insurance goal in the second powered UST to their second win of the tournament, against UP-X, in the first match of the day.
UP-X took early control of the match as they kept on intercepting passes of the black-shirts. The visitors then transitioned from defense to offense and were rewarded with the first goal of the match. At the 12th minute, the UST defense blocked Sabrina Nierras on top of the box, but cleared the ball only as far as Mary Rose Obra. The striker blasted the ball past opposing keeper Nicole Reyes for the go-ahead goal.
The Tigresses wrestled the momentum after Obra’s goal. Several passes into their attacking third were stifled by the Lady Maroons until the 25th minute. Nina Acuña caught UP-X custodian Nic Adlawan off her line and chipped the ball into the onion bag for the equalizer. UST continued this offensive pressure and took the lead five minutes after. Charisa Lemoran snatched the ball off Marie Navea-Huff and tapped the ball past Adlawan. The halftime whistle was sounded with UST taking the 2-1 lead.
At the second half, UST resumed their threats on attack with better passing and distribution. Acuña attempted to double her output at the 50th minute, but her strike went straight to the mitts of Adlawan. At the 64th minute, Tigresses finally plucked their third goal after relentless pressure. Chandra Solite stole the ball from the defense and flicked the ball into the back of the net.
Despite the lead, the Thomasians kept on pushing for another goal, which relegated UP-X to try from counterattack. Nonetheless, neither team found the back of the net, and UST completed the comeback and remains undefeated.
The UST Lady Booters now have a 2-1-0 W-D-L record while UP-X ended their stint with two points coming from two draws.
Ateneo outlasts Sikat FC
Ateneo fashioned a similar come-from-behind win in the second match against Sikat FC, after trailing by a goal at halftime.
Sikat FC tried to break the Atenean defense early on, with several balls into their attacking third spearheaded by Lea Tanton and Natasha Alquiros. Alquiros had the first crack at the goal, but her shot went wide. In the following play, Lea Tanton was impeded and fouled on her run towards the goal. The burly forward took the ensuing free kick that went straight to the right bottom corner of the goal and out of Kitkat Montelibano’s reach.
Ateneo finally got their offense running after the goal. Camille Rodriguez and Maria Teresa Bernardo attempted from long range, but their shots were off target. At the 44th minute, Bernardo found a gap on the Sikat backline and fired a shot that went straight to the hands of opposing keeper Jezza Baron. With the save, Baron preserved their 1-0 lead at the break.
The Lady Eagles was finally rewarded with tying goal at the 53rd minute. Martie Bautista found Nona Amoncio on her right, who also had support from Bernardo at the middle. The Philippine international passed the ball to Bernardo, and the latter directed the ball past Baron for the equalizer.
The Katipunan-based squad then kept their offensive intensity anchored by their steals off of Sikat’s passing lanes. At the 74th minute, Rodriguez sent a lovely through pass to Bautista on the middle. The winger drove inside the box and guided the ball off the far post and into the back of the net as Ateneo took the lead.
Both sides tried to breach the opposing defense, but neither was able to mount another good scoring opportunity in the last minutes of the match. Ateneo took their second win of the tournament, 2-1, and solidified their bid for a semifinals seat.
The Lady Eagles now have six points with 2 wins 0 draws and 1 loss. On the other hand, Sikat FC has one point coming from a draw and still remains winless.
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