It seems the University of Santo Tomas Golden Booters are the draw masters of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament.
In their fifth stalemate of the year, Miguel Mercader’s late goal earned UST a 1-1 tie at the De La Salle University Green Archers’ expense, Sunday afternoon at FEU-Diliman.
UST coach Marjo Allado shared, “If one player gives up, makaka-score yung opponent eh. Yung attitude namin, kung kailan nag-goal yung opponent, doon pa lang kami nag switch-on.”
The first half was an even contest between both squads, and as neither team was able to find a breakthrough. La Salle emerged from the halftime break as the more dangerous side; they forced UST goalkeeper Zaldy Abraham Jr. to produce routine stops to deny Paeng Siggaoat and Mikio Umilin.
Abraham was a busy man, performing more saves to prevent goals from substitute Mauro Acot and Mateo Alegre. However, La Salle kept pushing for that goal, and it came from Shanden Vergara’s fine finish in the 74th minute.
UST then woke up from their slumber to find the leveler. La Salle goalkeeper Gab Villacin parried defender Erick Orale’s free kick, and the latter headed wide from the resulting corner.
With only a few seconds left in stoppage time, the Golden Booters found a way to salvage their situation. A Villacin mishap caused a scramble in the Green Archers box, which then gave rookie Miguel Mercader a chance to score in the 90+6 minute.
“Same sa last time (vs UP), yung mga players gusto pa rin mag-score so nakakakuha kami ng isang goal. Pero hindi forever dapat na draw lang kami kasi when it comes to standings, hirap diba,” said Allado.
UST’s (11 points) and La Salle’s (13 points) next matches have yet to be announced.
UST XI: Abraham (GK), Alianza, Benecio, De Castro ©, Dimacali, Gumban, Menares, Orale, Pasion, Ramos, Rivera.
DLSU XI: Abao, Alcantara, Alegre, Almohjili, Diamante ©, Koizumi, Marfiga, Siggaoat, Umilin, Vergara, Villacin.