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FEU retains Women’s Cup title by overcoming stiff La Salle challenge

Goals from FEU veterans Alesa Dolino and Barbie Sobredo were enough for the Far Eastern University to keep ownership of the PFF Women’s Cup trophy

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Goals from FEU veterans Alesa Dolino and Barbie Sobredo were enough for the Far Eastern University to keep ownership of the PFF Women’s Cup trophy by overpowering a valiant De La Salle University team with the score of 2-1 in the cup final match held this morning at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

The game was initially staged last week at 5:30 in the afternoon, only to be abandoned abruptly due to persistence of thunderstorms which flooded the playing field. Prior to the postponement, both teams were very cautious in cracking down opposing defenses as neither team wanted to fall behind early in the encounter. It was totally different, however, when play resumed the week after. Not a full minute has elapsed when Dolino successfully looped her shot from long range into the back of the net to give FEU the brightest of starts.

Caught off guard, the ladies from Taft eagerly but fruitlessly hunted for the equalizing goal before the break. Chelo Hodges notched the Lasallians’ best chance of the half when she broke free from her marker. With no one but FEU keeper Joy Chavez between her and the goal, the second year striker had a golden opportunity to level the score. To her disappointment, Chavez was able to stop her goal-bound attempt. At the break, the reigning UAAP champions held on to a slender lead.

In the second half, La Salle had more opportunities to threaten FEU’s ascendancy. Hodges and Angge Metillo had clean looks on goal but failed to test Chavez by firing their shots aimlessly in the opening 10 minutes of the second half. The frustration the Lasallians felt in their inability to convert possession to goals heightened when they conceded a lousy second goal seven minutes after the hour mark. Sobredo got herself in a good position to sneak a shot past Inna Palacios, effectively doubling their advantage.

At that moment, DLSU look shaken and were on the brink of surrendering yet another final to their collegiate football rivals. Staying determined, the Lasallians made the most out of their next chance. Three minutes after FEU scored their second goal, Metillo neatly drilled her free kick attempt past Chavez, who was left grounded while the ball was on its way to the onion bag. By trimming the deficit into one, La Salle almost immediately carved their way back into the game.

A comeback was on the cards but the Lady Tamaraws refused to make it happen. Dodging a bullet by Hodges’ ill-advised shot at the 72nd minute, FEU produced a couple of good moments that nearly sealed the match. At the 80th minute, Palacios was alert enough to block two shots in quick succession from Jovelle Sudaria. Not long after, the DLSU goalkeeper raced to win the ball before Sobredo managed to get a touch to the ball. Those moments by Palacios nearly rewarded La Salle a deserved equalizer. In the dying moments of the game, substitute Meryl Ledesma had space to strike the ball from outside the box but her shot went off the mark. Not long after, the final whistle sounded, signalling FEU’s accomplished title defense of the PFF Women’s Cup crown. — LGT

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