Thanks to late heroics from goalkeeper Ralph Logronio and rookie Stephen Marasigan, University of Santo Tomas secured a 1-0 victory over National University in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Football Tournament, Thursday morning at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
After a nip-and-tick first 80 minutes, the breakthrough goal finally came at the 81st minute when Marasigan, who was brought on as a substitute, delivered an instant impact for Marjo Allado’s men as he unleased a fine strike that eventually became the first goal of the season.
“At least kahit papano nakakuha kami ng 1-0, kahit tight siya,” said UST coach Allado. “Kailangan namin i-organize ulit yung team and then questionable talaga dun yung match fitness.”
Both sides went close to breaking the deadlock in the first half.
The Golden Booters were awarded a freekick right at the edge of the NU box near the end of the period. UST’s Glen Ramos then stepped up to unleash a powerful strike, which ended up getting denied by the goalpost.
On the other end, in stoppage time, Bulldogs forward Angelo Paring was through on goal but his attempt his the side-netting.
Things then got heated in stoppage time.
A commotion broke out between the two squads and the Bulldogs were cunning enough to try and take advantage of it via a quick throw-in. Rookie Bryan Ybanez was through on goal, but his attempt was parried away by Logronio’s magnificent stop.
The result gives UST three valuable points to open its campaign while NU has to make do with none.
Additionally, the Bulldogs can only lament the fact Keivenn Banagodos was sent off after being given two yellow cards.
The two schools will next play on March 8, Sunday at the same venue.
UST looks to build on this result against Ateneo de Manila University at 1:30 PM while NU seeks to bounce back against University of the Philippines at 6:30 PM.
“Hopefully, this Sunday against Ateneo, it will be much better,” said Allado.