University of Santo Tomas has taken a two-point advantage over closest rivals De La Salle University and Far Eastern University after whipping Maroon FC last week.
On the other hand, Green Archers United FC, Nomads FC, University of the Philippines, and Maroons FC also notched points during week four of the PFF Women’s League.
Two of the league’s undefeated teams locked horns last Saturday in Carmona but wound up canceling each other out as both De La Salle University and Far Eastern University shared points after a 1-1 draw.
Both teams were evenly matched for most of the proceedings until Michaela Maligalig was fouled inside the box, winning DLSU a penalty. Anicka Castañeda duly converted from the spot in the 21st minute that gave the La Sallians that valuable lead.
In the second half FEU refused to let the match go and pushed hard for an equalizer. DLSU was almost successful in holding them back but then Joyce Onrubia wedged in the tying goal at the very last play.
“Sinabi ko sa kanila wag magpapadala sa score,” said FEU coach Chols Villarino. “Basta ma-meet namin yung objective, makasunod sa instruction then that is a success already for us.”
DLSU mentor Hans-Peter Smit meanwhile was livid especially with how the officials allowed a goal that he felt was beyond stoppage time.
“All the teams here are training hard to play then you get officiating like this. Of course, it’s also our mistake, I’m not giving all the blame to the referees. Everybody is tired even the opponents so you stop when the game is over. I want my girls to learn that when you’re given a chance to play, you play your heart out.”
University of Santo Tomas kept rolling after overcoming a first-half challenge by Maroons FC before conquering them 7-1.
It was the team in black and yellow that drew first blood when Shelah Mae Cadag scored just after four minutes. Maroons responded with counterattacks before leveling the game in the 20th minute thanks to Alyssa Ube’s efforts. Cadag struck again three minutes before the break to restore UST’s lead.
If UP offered some resistance in the first half, UST decided to snuff it out by the second. Nathalie Absalon stayed true to her current form and netted goals in the 51st and 57th minutes. Then it was Mary Joy Indac’s turn as she finished off with a hat trick in the 74th, 91st and 93rd minutes.
Coach Paula Cervantes hopes her team can keep up with the great showing they’ve shown so far.
“They just have to be consistent, managing our goals papunta doon sa gusto namin mapuntahan. Pero at the same time, hindi lang kailangan kasi panalo eh, dapat nakikita rin yung effort na nagta-trabaho sila,” she said.
Sunday’s club derby almost ended in a draw if not for Nicole Andaya’s late-game heroics for a 1-0 Green Archers United FC win over Stallion-Hiraya FC.
SHFC went into the match seeking their first win or point and thus were aggressive from the start. They encountered difficulties connecting in the final third as keeper Karla Rubio denied all their shots on goal.
GAU also had struggles of their own even with highschoolers adding pace to their ranks but that was soon forgotten when Andaya took matters into her own hands with a vintage strike from distance at near full time.
“Yung mga subs ko nag-step up, nakatulong sila kasi nag-change yung momentum ng game pagkapasok nila. Medyo mainit yung klima kaya pinagod muna namin yung kabila tapos ipinasok na yung mga bata,” revealed coach Elvin Marcellana.
The league debutants have finally entered the win column after Nomads FC’s 1-0 upset of University of the Philippines.
With a lot of players from Ateneo’s football team within the ranks of Nomads, there was familiarity in knowing how to defend Katipunan rivals UP which seemed to have proven key.
Thus when Chloe Hails’ lobbed shot in the 54th minute came to put Nomads ahead, it was more than enough to guarantee their first-ever points in the league.
“It was a very tight game, a lot of hard work but all in all very positive. It’s nice to get our first three points. Very pleased with them yet we can still improve and hopefully we will as the tournament rolls on,” said coach Shane Cosgrove.
Nomads again was on hand during the midweek fixtures at UP Diliman’s brand new football field but this time split points with Maroons FC after figuring in a goalless affair.
The Maroons seemed eager to do well at home as they dictated much of the play last Wednesday afternoon. Stacey Arthur was crucial in holding down the center as the hosts controlled most of the possession.
If Arthur dazzled it was her strikers that unfortunately lacked as the Maroons failed to put away a handful of sitters. Nomads had a number of chances of their own but in the end, both teams had to settle for a draw.
“A little bit disappointed we felt we could have gotten three points today but a draw on reflection is a fair result. We just couldn’t do the penetration we hoped we’d have. We’re still trying to find a balance and the girls are still learning how to play with each other so we’ll see how it goes,” said Cosgrove.
Maroons coach Steph Permanes meanwhile was happy to play at home noting it was an advantage.
“Sanay sila sa field, sa atmosphere dito. A good thing that happened in this game is yung confidence ng players ko maghawak ng bola is nandiyan. Kasi our objective talaga for this league is to build their confidence by asking for the ball, demanding for the ball, “ he added.
A determined University of the Philippines was on a mission to give a good showing at home and they delivered in glorious fashion after shocking Far Eastern University 2-1.
The hosts came out of the blocks firing, overwhelming their Morayta-based counterparts so much that one by one FEU players fell to a bad case of cramps or injury including key midfielder Eojin Koh throwing one of the league’s leading teams in disarray.
Once Sofia Dungca’s 47th-minute free-kick found the back of the net, UP seized the momentum. In the 73rd minute, rookie Itsuko Bacatan gave her side the cushion they needed. Even if Erma Balacua pulled one back in the 90th minute it was a little too late for the beleaguered FEU squad.
“The key in this game was the confidence, yung confidence level compared sa previous games,” admitted coach Franco Bambico. “Given the bad defeats in the first few games na nasa adjustment period pa, we’re eyeing talaga pagdating ng third or fourth games at least magkakaroon na sila nung fluidity. It showed naman dun sa game.”
UST – 9 pts (+13 GD)
DLSU – 7 pts (+6 GD)
FEU – 7 pts (+5 GD)
Tuloy FC – 6 pts (+5 GD)
GAU FC – 6 pts (-1 GD)
Nomads FC – 4 pts (-3 GD)
UP – 3 pts (-9 GD)
Maroons FC – 1 pt (-11 GD)
Tigers FC – 0 pt (-2 GD)
Stallion-Hiraya – 0 pt (-3 GD)
The PFF Women’s League continues on Saturday, August 24 at the PFF National Training Center and will have Maroons FC and Tigers FC at 8:00 A.M. followed by the University of the Philippines and Green Archers United FC at 10:00 A.M.
On Sunday, August 25, Nomads FC will clash against Tuloy FC at 8:00 A.M. then Stallion-Hiraya FC face a tough assignment in De La Salle University at 10:00 A.M.