The Green Archers United-Women and the De La Salle University teams delivered identical 3-0 victories over their respective foes in today’s PFF Women’s Cup matches held at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium this afternoon. The results mean that the semifinals will likely compose of these two teams, with one securing a slot in the semifinals while the other moved a step closer towards the final four.
Narciso leads the way for GAU with early hat-trick over UP-Y
Marianne Narciso netted three times inside eight first half minutes to guide the Green Archers United FC to a comfortable 3-0 win against the University of the Philippines-Y team coached by Anto Gonzales.
Despite the one-sided scoreline, the girls from Diliman opened the match better as they were actively attempting to unlock the GAU defense. Their tries were futile, however, often lacking the killer touch or two needed to nab the first goal. Claudia Mendoza, Christille Ardiente, and Angeliza Sta. Clara all drilled the ball into the danger area, but none of those caused damage to the Green Archers United back row.
While UP struggled offensively in the early stages of the match, GAU needed a few touches in the attacking third to take the lead. Marianne Narciso sprinted to win the loose ball near the UP-Y box. The forward then neatly cleared the shot to give her team the advantage. Not long after, Narciso doubled the lead with a strike glaringly similar to her first just five minutes before. The national team mainstay then completed her hat-trick three minutes after scoring her second, although appearing to have needed the help of UP-Y goalkeeper Maria Wong who seemed to have fumbled the ball into the net.
In the second half, UP-Y again had the opportunities to claw their way back in the match. Unfortunately, their lack of composure cruelly betrayed them of any chance to score. Their best try came at the 53rd minute when Eloisa Fagsao opted to pass the ball to nearby teammate Alyssa Ube despite having acres of space to test GAU goalie Haya Ibarra. Ube, who took the shot instead, sent it wide. As for GAU, they went to pad their lead, especially towards the latter part of the second half. Narciso again causing problems to the UP-Y backline, who grew more composed in dealing with the pacy attack-minded player. Without any goals to show in the second half, GAU held on to secure an important win.
The result allows GAU to move on top of Group A with seven points in three games. To reach the semifinals, they must avoid losing to Ateneo next week. A win against the Ateneans will guarantee GAU pole position entering the semifinals.
La Salle marches on to semis after slamming Lady Tamaraws
Three goals from three different players against Lady Tamaraws FC ensured the DLSU Women’s Football Team’s safe passage to the semifinals.
DLSU wasted no time in attempting to seize the initiative in the match. Chelo Hodges and Kyra Dimaandal bombarded the box with several chances but none of them were able to make those count. On the counterattack, La Salle was exposed by Lou Amita who created two opportunities herself. Fortune simply did not favor her team, who nearly went ahead had Amita’s strike gone in off the bar at the 26th minute.
It would have been an undeserved Lady Tamaraws’ lead against the women in white who were dictating the flow of the match. After multiple waves of attack, La Salle finally notched a breakthrough goal. Irish Navaja sneaked past her marker to force the Lady Tamaraw goalkeeper to charge down. Navaja was not able to shoot the ball but luckily for her, Dimaandal was at the right place at the right time to bury the chance on a quickly set-up play. La Salle carried the slender lead to halftime.
In the second half, DLSU converted in their first clear chance on goal. A similar scenario to the first goal, Navaja sprang to punish the lackluster Lady Tamaraws defense to tee up Meryll Ledesma who comfortably slid the ball into the back of the net. After falling two goals down, the Lady Tamaraws threatened to make a contest out of it. Ruchell Latap and Charmaine Fagaragan, however, only forced brilliant saves from Inna Palacios. The impending result was put beyond doubt 10 minutes before time by Chelo Hodges who thrived from a third Navaja assist of the game. Moments before scoring, the UAAP Season 77 Rookie of the Year was denied by the goalpost following a good pass from Dimaandal.
La Salle’s win makes them all but the top seed of Group B with an impressive 10 points out of four games, winning three out of their four group stage matches. Only a win by seven goals or more by UST next week would send DLSU to a lower ranking entering the final four of the competition. —LGT