The De La Salle University Green Archers banked on a masterful display to claim their fifth win of the season via a 6-0 thumping of Adamson University Soaring Falcons. A hat-trick from Greggy Yang, plus a goal each from the Diamante brothers, Gelo and Jed, and Yoshiharu Koizumi secured a resounding win for the men from Taft Avenue.
As the scoreline suggests, La Salle forced their opponents to sit back almost the entire game. Disappointed by their performance against the University of the East last Sunday, the Green Archers wasted no time as they hungrily went for the goal in the opening stages.
Two decent chances came in the first five minutes for Gerald Layumas and Jed Diamante, but neither converted. Their aggressiveness paid off anyway when Yang fired his team ahead by steering his free kick into the bottom corner of the goal, six minutes into the game.
La Salle mainstays Jojo Borromeo and Layumas each had a go to make it 2-0 straight away. The former’s shot was blocked, while the latter was denied another goal against Adamson by the crossbar. As the game totally went in their favor, it was only a matter of time before they doubled the lead. It was Yang who eventually cushioned his team’s lead 10 minutes later. Unmarked as he lurked along the left side of the box, Yang simply tucked the ball in from a cross by Jhoguev Ybañez. If two goals made it safe for La Salle, three goals would make the result sure. In that sense, it only took them three more minutes to secure a result. Adamson goalkeeper Carl Viray may have gotten to a headed effort by Gelo Diamante, but the following sequence — which had also happened in the 19th minute — ended with Jed Diamante stabbing the ball into the net.
Looking ruthless in the opening 20 minutes, the Green Archers were poised to score at least a couple more before the break. However, the Adamson defense stood firm as they succeeded in limiting the damage before halftime. Yang had nearly sealed his hat trick earlier, at the 27th minute to be exact, when he saw his free kick palmed away by the outstretched hands of Viray. Another good chance came two minutes later, when Javi Romero-Salas’ audacious effort was just cleared away by the Adamson defense.
A dry 10 minutes of football soon followed, as La Salle dropped their pace. A moment of apparent indecision from Viray in the 41st minute was almost costly, as it left the Adamson net vulnerable. Romero-Salas was able to get the ball inside the box before Viray did, but no La Salle player was there to meet the rookie’s pass. The half ended soon, but not before a good chance for Adamson to redeem themselves. Harold Feliciano attempted to feed the ball to Bless Jumo I but the Adamson midfielder was left to the rue the pass, as he didn’t get a decisive touch on it. At the break, La Salle held a three-goal advantage.
Perhaps dismayed by the inability to convert more chances in the latter stages of the first half, the Lasallians committed themselves to pushing the envelope even further. The Green Archers continued to pile the pressure on an Adamson side desperate to no longer concede more goals. The Falcons dealt well with the chances in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but their resistance was broken anew at the 62nd minute. Substitute keeper July Aldeguer couldn’t keep Yang from completing his hat trick. The veteran Green Archer collected a ball courtesy of a pass from Borromeo. Yang was composed enough for him to pick a spot to put the ball into the goal.
Five minutes afterwards, Gelo Diamante finally got himself on the scoresheet. The elder of the Diamante brothers finished a fine play by slotting the ball into the onion bag. The move was started by his brother, who then involved Nace Gonzales on the wing. A good cross from the substitute then teed up the captain to make it five unanswered on the day.
Compounding Adamson’s misery is a sixth goal that came from Koizumi. The sophomore was a recipient of a well-placed cross delivered by fellow substitute Cristian Zubiri with only sixteen minutes to go in the match. There could have been more goals for La Salle had their finishing been more deadly towards the end. Nevertheless, it was a very much deserved win for the Green Archers who, in the process, solidified their grip of the top spot.
DLSU Coach Hans-Peter Smit sees the win as a confidence-booster for the lads, who had struggled last time out against UE. “We needed to regroup. I didn’t tell them how many goals to score. I just said let’s get back our confidence,” Smit expounded. With La Salle now five points clear of second-placed UST, Smit emphasized the importance of staying focused and not resting on their laurels, especially at this stage of the season. “I don’t want to happen what happened last year. Everybody was saying that were unbeaten but we lost in the finals. I told the boys all we need to do is always respect the opponent and just play our game,” the DLSU tactician added.
La Salle will take a week’s break before playing against the National University Bulldogs at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field on Thursday, 1PM. As for Adamson, they will lock horns with the Far Eastern University Tamaraws on Sunday, 4PM, at the McKinley Hill Stadium.