It was a dream start for the University of Santo Tomas Golden Booters with four straight wins until they suffered losses and settled for draws.
After 25 days of wait, the Golden Booters finally notched another win and regained their footing for a semifinals berth, blasting the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, 5-0, Thursday morning at the FEU Diliman Field.
In ideal conditions, the Thomasians showed their brand of attacking football that plucked them the first 12 points.
Steven Anotado, who returned from suspension, opened the scoring for the the yellow-shirts at the eighth minute.
UST was relentless after that, only Adamson stood their ground. Nonetheless, the hungry Tigers would not be denied another goal ten minutes before the break.
Marvin Bricenio finally broke his scoring slump after taking his fifth goal of the season to double the lead for his squad, which they carried into the interval.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second period as UST continually sent balls into their attacking third.
With that pressure, the Falcons were left to defend their goal and, unfortunately, succumbed to a handball infraction at the 54th minute. In the consequent spot kick, skipper Ian De Castro slotted it to Carl Viray’s right for his squad’s third goal.
The Falcons tried to pull one back, but their forwards could not break through the defense, and their shots were far from dangerous.
Late in the match, the Tigers registered two more to put away the win for good. From the same side, Christian Valderama sent the ball into the box off a free kick before De Castro finished it off.
At the first instance, the forward heads it past Viray, before slamming it into the goal four minutes after to seal the elusive win for the Golden Booters.
Going into the match, the coaching staff just reminded the UST team of the importance of the last four matches. Head coach Marjo Allado said, “Last four games, especially against Adamson, hindi pwedeng i-take for granted kahit wala silang panalo. Sinabi namin at alam naman ng players na last four games, [may] bearing lahat ‘yan kasi nga naghahabol kami sa third and fourth. So kailangan from Adamson manalo, three points, para makapasok sa semifinals.”
The mentor very much welcomed the win and hopes that his wards will take it from here. “It was a positive result. So far, naintindihan naman ng players yung situation. Hindi mo na kailangan i-motivate kasi alam na nila.”
Both teams take on the pitch after the Holy Week break on Sunday, April 8. The Golden Booters (18 points) will battle the DLSU Green Booters (16 points) at 3:30 p.m. while the Falcons (0 points) will face the UE Red Warriors (10 points) earlier at 1:30 p.m. The matches will take place in the same Diliman venue.
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