Another day, another routine victory for the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons.
State U made quick work of the Adamson University Soaring Falcons with a 4-1 victory, Thursday morning at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. It was the Fighting Maroons’ third consecutive victory in the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football Tournament.
In spite of the win, UP head coach Anto Gonzales shared his disappointment with his players. “Very poor performance. They weren’t sharp. They were lazy. They weren’t thinking.”
Kintaro Miyagi was on fire throughout the contest, and the third-year striker needed just four minutes to get on the scoresheet. The Filipino-Japanese student-athlete latched onto a through ball and shot past Soaring Falcons goalie Carl Viray for the opener.
Gonzales’ men did not have to wait long to double their lead. JB Borlongan continued his fine form this season, and scored his third goal of the campaign with a strike from outside the Soaring Falcons box in the 10th minute.
UP were in cruise control in the game. Not even Jusuel Pilarca’s goal two minutes later hampered the Fighting Maroons’ momentum. Pilarca, who was situated on the right wing, found himself one-on-one with UP goalie Anton Yared and calmly shot past the latter to score Adamson’s first goal of the season.
True enough, the Season 78 champions did not have to wait long in order to restore their two-goal cushion. Miyagi capitalized on a loose ball in the Adamson box and turned it in to score his third goal of the year in the 16th minute.
The second half was not much different for both teams. UP still dominated the contest, and Adamson were pegged back in their half. Another goal was inevitable for the Fighting Maroons, and it came in the 72nd minute. Borlongan unleashed one of his now-trademark strikes to make it 4-1 in favor of UP.
When asked about what his players needed to improve after this 4-1 victory, Gonzales was direct in his response. “It’s the attitude. It’s the mental approach to the game. Maybe it got into their heads, (that) after two good performances, playing against Adamson, they took it quite easy. It’s their worst performance after three games.”
State U shall look for their fourth straight win of the season against the Far Eastern University at 1:30 PM. Beforehand, Adamson will hope to barge into the win column versus the National University at 9:00 AM. Both games will be held on February 18 at Rizal Memorial.