This time last season, the Adamson University Soaring Falcons upset the De La Salle University Green Archers with a 1-0 victory in Far Eastern University-Diliman. Sunday afternoon saw no upset, however, as La Salle found a way to get the job done against Adamson with a 2-0 triumph.
“A win’s a win but that doesn’t mean I am happy with the game,” shared La Salle coach Hans-Peter Smit at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. “We lacked in the attack. We’re doing well in the defense and the midfield but especially in the first half (the players) softened up. They slowed down in the attacking third.”
The only thing that La Salle failed to do in the first half was put the ball at the back of the net. The Green Archers fluffed chance after chance as the Soaring Falcons goalkeeper Carl Viray produced save after save.
Viray was a rock in goal as he denied Yoshi Koizumi, Jed Diamante, and Marcus Garcia with quality stops. How the game managed to go into halftime goalless was all down to the veteran goalkeeper’s heroics.
It was a similar story in the second half. La Salle constantly attacked Adamson, who in turn were forced to sit deep. Viray was a busy guy throughout the period, as he denied Diamante and Koizumi with routine stops.
La Salle needed to make a change, and Smit put in Cristian Zubiri for Christopher Lawless. The substitution paid dividends almost immediately, as Zubiri powered his way past the Soaring Falcons defense to finally break the deadlock in the 72nd minute.
The Green Archers needed 72 minutes to find the goal their effors deserved, but it only took two more for them to double their lead. Substitute winger Paolo Perez marked his UAAP debut with an assist for Marcus Garcia, who tapped the ball into the Soaring Falcons net.
Smit added, “I had to make some changes and the guys who came off the bench did their jobs. They have to reassess what they want to do… They picked it up in the second half but we can’t let things… If you can do it in the first half, why do it in the second half?”
Ultimately, the Green Archers notched their second straight victory for this campaign with the 2-0 result, while the Soaring Falcons sank to their second defeat.
Both schools shall next play on February 15 at Rizal Memorial Stadium. Adamson will face the University of the Philippines at 9:00 AM, while La Salle will go up against archrivals Ateneo de Manila University later in the afternoon at 4:00 PM.