De La Salle University piled on the pressure at league leaders University of Santo Tomas after a big win closed a significant gap in points and goal difference between the two teams at the conclusion of last weekend’s games in the PFF Women’s League.
For the second straight week, two matches had no clear winners while Far Eastern University found their second victory.
Coming off a disappointing match that only gave them a point, De La Salle University looked to refocus against their younger counterparts based further south. They did just that while breaking a league record in the process – a record they have set on their final game last season at the same time topping the season-high set by University of Santo Tomas a few weeks ago – on most goals scored in a league match by scoring 17-0 against De La Salle Zobel.
Kyra Dimaandal led the way for DLSU, needing only four minutes to score. Alisha Del Campo followed up a minute later, before striking three more times in the 13th, 52nd and 70th minutes.
Veteran defender Mariell Tejada tapped in a shot from a corner in the 28th minute, while another veteran in midfielder Irish Navaja went off to bag a team-high five goals in the contest (33rd, 35th, 59th, 61st and 82nd minutes).
The assault didn’t stop as five more Lady Archers filled the scoresheet. Rocelle Mendaño added another goal in the 41st minute before being joined by Sara Castañeda’s brace in the 58th and 66th minutes.
Substitutes Janna Barcemo, Kyla Javier and Arantxa Del Mundo added three more for the Taft-based squad clocking in at the 68th, 93rd and 94th minutes respectively.
The lopsided scoreline may be a shock to many but for mentor Hans-Peter Smit he could care less.
“I don’t care about the score or the record. What I was after is that the girls get back their confidence. They haven’t played yet to their full potential. They were supposed to be playing the same way like they did last year but I still haven’t seen that,” he quipped.
As captain, Dimaandal made sure that last week’s fixture against OutKast FC didn’t continue to bother DLSU.
“Since alam namin na pre-season, it’s an opportunity to correct our mistakes so we’re trying to forget all the past results but not the corrections that we have to make,” she said. “So when we went in this morning against Zobel, we didn’t have that frustrated mindset but we had the mindset of progressing and building up.”
As for Zobel, Smit who is also their mentor in some capacity, revealed that they were playing loose in preparation for a championship game for another tournament later in the afternoon.
“Not to insult Zobel, they have a championship game this afternoon so they treated this game like a warm-up and this exposure to a higher level of football will benefit them.”
Green Archers United FC were a formidable club last season who at the moment find themselves at the bottom of the table. Not too far from them are the University of the Philippines who were once mighty champions of UAAP Season 78. Thus the collegians were naturally hungry for a win but after opposing goalkeeper Inna Palacios’s bold pre-game declaration of “Hindi tayo magpapatalo today,” a 1-1 draw seemed like a fair result.
Perhaps Palacios’ confidence was placed in the activation of Hali Long who finally arrived from overseas to start training with the national team, and true enough the experienced centerback made an impact. While content with defending for the first half, Long’s intimidating presence was enough to stymie UP’s frontline attack as either team reached the halftime scoreless.
The Lady Maroons regrouped and as GAU dared to pick things up offensively by bumping Long up to midfield, the Diliman-based squad capitalized on the latter’s slow adjustment to the new formation with Isabella Dumada-og pouncing for a 48th minute strike.
While it seemed like the plan went awry, GAU did not panic and waited for their new formation to synch. The gamble paid off in the 81st minute when a through-pass from Long found Nicole Andaya who powered it over the outstretched arms of Nic Adlawan for the equalizer. Minutes later the whistle blew to declare a stalemate.
GAU coach Elvin Marcellana later conveyed satisfaction over the success of his makeshift gameplan while contemplating over continuing to play Long out of position.
“Hindi maka-distribute agad yung midfield dun sa attacking namin so inangat namin si Hali. Chine-check ko pa kung ano yung mga mabigay niya sa team, kaya ba niya mag-attack or sa depensa lang. Tapos [bad] timing yung ibang players, they have RIFA. Hopefully by next game makumpleto na kami at may laban,” he said.
UP may be disappointed for conceding another late goal which led to a second straight draw but coach Franco Bambico stated otherwise.
“Actually ‘di siya frustrating, but more on we’re looking for more improvements. As advised by Coach Anto [Gonzales], kailangan dahan-dahanin muna. Yung flow ng formation, ng system, nung passing. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, we have to take it step-by-step. Just play your game first before looking to win the game,” he said.
Following a few disappointing results, Far Eastern University wanted to turn things around but it would not be so easy when faced with a UAAP team. Ateneo de Manila University have been seeking for a win themselves but luck would not be on their side as the Lady Tamaraws came out stronger, winning the match 3-1.
In the eighth minute, Ateneo’s failure to clear the ball from their area led to FEU grabbing the lead early. Stealing the ball off a defender near the baseline, Roselle Lecera aimed at the front of the goal where Joyce Onrubia was waiting to slap the ball home.
Ateneo were able to pull the goal back ten minutes later after a pass by Martina Therese Roxas to the top of the box found Martie Bautista for a turnaround shot that found the bottom corner of the net.
After 33 minutes, the Lady Tamaraws led again when keeper Mariane Caparros tried to rush Onrubia but the latter’s tap into goal was quicker.
The Lady Eagles tried to mount another comeback only to be thwarted by their opponents’ poise.
In the final minute before full time, Zhyrelle Belluga’s weak side pass caught Ateneo off guard as it connected with Erma Balacua whose shot clipped the post. As Caparros grabbed hold of the ball, the referee signalled for a goal to give FEU the 3-1 lead and eventual win.
“It’s a good start na nag-improve sila in the middle of the season bago makalaban yung mga UAAP teams especially yung UST,” said coach Let Dimzon. She noted that while defense has improved together with the transition to offense, all that was left to fix was their finishing.
“Dine-develop ko lang talaga sa players is yung attacking. Although babagsak ako sa defending, kung malakas kasi yung attacking mo, mas malaki yung chance na doon lagi sa pitch ng kalaban yung bola. So kung more chances kami in front, hindi kami mahihirapan magdepensa,” she explained.
Hiraya FC made it clear their objectives for this season were to be one of the top club teams of the league however fellow club team Tuloy FC had other plans. Both clubs settled for a 1-1 draw after the realization of the shortcomings they have to deal with.
Just like their previous matches, Tuloy FC immediately went on the offensive which caught Hiraya FC on the back foot for most of the first half. Ten minutes in, a foul in the box gifted Tuloy the opportunity for the lead but were left wanting after keeper Gely Tiu blocked Isabella Bandoja’s spot kick.
Bandoja would later make up for the penalty miss after finishing a lovely tiki-taka play inside the box that involved four different players in the 24th minute.
The lead gave the young club from Alabang confidence to continue attacking which prompted Hiraya to shore up their defenses with key substitutions like Natasha Alquiros who stabilized their midfield.
In the 60th minute, Richelle Placencia scored the equalizer which gave Hiraya the breathing room they needed.
Tuloy had another opportunity to take the lead in the latter part of the match but Tiu’s punched clearance of a close-ranged strike saved the day for Hiraya yet again.
Hiraya responded with a run of their own which saw Cam Rodriguez barrelling down the center before appearing to be fouled inside the box. However, the referee waved off their calls for a penalty and the match ended with both teams sharing points.
Though expecting to win, Philip Dinglasan only expressed satisfaction and relief at his side’s luck.
“My expectations were high, we really wanted to get three points and take advantage of our experience over the Tuloy kids but apparently they are really strong and very composed in the game and I’m really impressed with how they played. So they really gave us a hard time,” the Hiraya coach said.
On the other hand, his counterpart on Tuloy wished his side had more experience.
“It’s a draw, siyempre hindi nakakatuwa. Maganda naman yung game nila, ang problema lang yung attitude ng bata kasi minsan may mga players ako na halos di gumagalaw sa game. Kaya pa, may ipu-push pa. Lamang kami sa speed kaya lang yung experience, mabigat na kalaban yung experience pagdating sa laro,” said Rey Cuenco.
UST – 12 pts (+32 GD)
DLSU – 10 pts (+22 GD)
OutKast FC – 10 pts (+13 GD)
FEU – 7 pts (+1 GD)
Hiraya FC – 5 pts (-3 GD)
Tuloy FC – 4 pts (-11 GD)
DLS Zobel – 3 pts (-36 GD)
UP – 2 pts (-4 GD)
ADMU – 1 pt (-6 GD)
GAU FC – 1 pt (-8 GD)
The PFF Women’s League continues on Saturday, October 6 at the PFF National Training Centre in Carmona, Cavite with the two high school clubs De La Salle Zobel and Tuloy FC battling at 8:00 A.M. Far Eastern University will try to get their third win versus defending champions De La Salle University at 10:30 A.M.
On Sunday, October 7, Ateneo de Manila University seek that elusive win against OutKast FC at 8:00 A.M. while Hiraya FC will attempt to stop the unbeaten University of Santo Tomas in its tracks at 10:30 A.M.
The games are available on livestream at http://pff.org.ph/pff-tv.