Every point matters at this point of the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football Tournament
The De La Salle University Green Archers and University of Santo Tomas Golden Booters shared the spoils with a 1-1 draw Sunday afternoon at the Far Eastern University-Diliman football field in a result that allows both teams to have their Final Four hopes in their hands.
The result leaves UST at 3rd place with 19 points while La Salle gets solo 4th place with 17 points.
“The boys played fine,” commented La Salle coach Hans-Peter Smit as he ranted against some of the match officials’ decisions. “At least we didn’t lose because it’s UST, UE, NU and us who’s vying for third place and fourth place. As long as (the players) continue playing like this and not to let up, we still have a chance.”
The two schols started in aggressive fashion but it was La Salle that borke the deadlock three minutes from halftime. Striker Cristian Zubiri won a free kick outside the Golden Booters box which midfielder Yoshi Koizumi took. Koizumi then struck past UST goalkeeper Zaldy Abraham for La Salle’s opener.
The Green Archers rode on their momentum upon the game’s resumption and almost doubled their advantage early in the second period. Abraham had to perform two point-blank saves in succession to deny Nicko Villacin and Lorenzo Perez.
UST, though, retaliated in the best way possible. La Salle defender Nathan Alcantara conceded a foul deep in the Green Archers half. Darwin Busmion then took the free kick and released a good ball into the box which Golden Booters skipper Ian De Castro headed into goal at the 62nd minute.
Both teams then pushed on for that winning goal. Villacin saw another header caught by Abraham while Marvin Bricenio shot narrowly wide at the other end. The Golden Booters then almost stole all three points when substitute defender Kenneth Tuzon’s free kick hit the crossbar.
“Well better na we dropped two points than sa natalo kami because La Salle will take over pa (sa standings). Two remaining games and four teams have chances for the top four… First half is very poor especially wala kami midfield. Second half we have chances pero ayaw talaga ibigay sa amin,” explained UST coach Marjo Allado.
Both schools’ next games shall be on April 12 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. La Salle will take on National University at 8:00 AM while UST faces University of the East afterwards at 2:00 PM.