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Tiebreaker Times

Maroons dismantle Warriors to secure grip on first place

UP picked up where they left off in 2014 as they moved further from the pack. Through a repeat of a massive 6-0 victory, this time over UE, Saturday night at the Moro Lorenzo Football, the Fighting Maroons recorded their fourth win in six games to top the league with 13 points.

Ian Clariño got the game’s first goal just inside six minutes. The first year player chased down the ball after Lendon Clores fumbled Jinggoy Valmayor’s free kick. It set the tone for the next 84 and so minutes of the match as UE found it hard to keep pace with the Maroons.

UP notched their second at the 18th minute courtesy of Carlos Monfort. The winger pounced on a loose ball near the UE six yard box. Successfully getting to the ball before any of UE’s players, Monfort smartly tipped the ball into the goal to double their advantage. Even before the Warriors recovered from going 0-2 down, another blow came their way.

Ryan Fermin struck a magnificent half-volley to wow the players and fans alike to give UP an unassailable 3-0 lead just a minute after Monfort’s goal. It went on to be a long night for last year’s fifth seeded team.

Just before halftime, Monfort doubled his goal tally after heading in a corner in the first half’s added time. The Recto squad looked helpless going into the break after falling behind by four goals without even a shot on target under their name.

The Maroons’ skipper of the night Valmayor scored his fifth goal of the season and UP’s fifth of the night. With Valmayor’s header, UP were poised to outdo themselves in registering the biggest winning margin of the season.

The job of doing that was hampered by the challenge of playing with 10 men. Albert Yatco earned his second caution of the night, prompting him to march off the field at the 69th minute. It helped UE in stringing together a couple of good chances to grab a consolation goal. Stephane Dagaraga had two chances to take home a goal for the Red Warriors. The first shot was deflected off to a corner while his second was off target. UE eventually fell to 10 man as well when Michael Tulio was evicted after collecting two straight bookings, one for a foul and another for the ensuing resentment.

The next goal completed another 6-0 rout for UP. Just a minute left in normal time, Michael Simms tapped in the ball within two yards to round off a classy display by the Iskos.

“I thought we started the game really well,” said UP mentor Anto Gonzales who pointed out his squad’s progress in completing set pieces. However, he still thinks that there’s huge room for improvement particularly in midfield. He noted that the players made more mistakes, especially in handling the ball, in the latter part of the game. “We cannot afford to make the same mistakes against FEU because they will make us pay.”

UE assistant coach Shem Bensurto admitted that the UE players struggled in their third night game this season. “Hindi kami sanay sa gabi talaga,” he elaborated while adding that his players also got carried away by their fear of going up against the league leaders.

Having played six games already, UP and UE will resume action following the weekend of the much-anticipated visit of Pope Francis. UE will play at FEU Diliman on Wednesday, January 21, against NU. UP, meanwhile, will square off against FEU, at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field on Thursday, January 22.

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