First year players Masyu Yoshioka and Jarvey Gayoso led the way for the Blue Eagles as they ran out huge winners last night, trouncing the skidding Adamson Soaring Falcons, 7-0, at the McKinley Hill Stadium.
Scoring twice in their 3-2 midweek victory over UE, Yoshioka stepped his scoring spree by a notch in this game by tallying a hat trick. Meanwhile, Gayoso recorded a brace and also earned his team a penalty in the match. Other scorers were second year forward Christian Castillo and skipper Mikko Mabanag.
As the scoreline suggests, the match went almost entirely in one direction–Ateneo’s. Unlike in their first round As early as the third minute, Gayoso saw Adamson keeper Carl Viray off his line and failed in attempting an audacious long shot. A minute after, Castillo aimed to set up Koko Gaudiel but the rushing midfielder was a second too late in meeting his batchmate’s cross. Trying to provide before, Castillo turned out to be the scorer of the first goal in the match. With just six minutes passing by, he was a recipient of a well-placed ground cross of Yoshioka down the left flank.
After going ahead, Ateneo still dictated the tempo although chances dried up within the next 15 minutes. In that period, young guns Yoshioka and Gaudiel had good looks but both blasted their efforts wide. The next goal for the boys from Katipunan did eventually arrive at the 22nd minute. Aiming to get deeper into the box, Gayoso got the better of Adamson defender Jackson Ramos who clipped him in the area. As a result, the Blue Eagles had the chance to pad their lead from the spot. And so they did with Mabanag sending Viray the wrong way to double the advantage.
Not resting on their laurels, Ateneo went eagerly for the ball as if it was a rugby restart. The Blue Eagles piled enough pressure to win the ball in a dangerous area. Getting possession for his team, Mabanag quickly sent the ball to Gayoso. The rookie was poised to make it three in an instant but he shot weaker than what was required.
As the game opened up, the Soaring Falcons also registered shots on goal though their attempts haven’t really troubled Ateneo goalkeeper JP Oracion. Marc de Guzman had two harmless chances which were the closest Nolan Manito’s team ever got in front of goal in the opening half.
Encouraged to commit more people on the attack, Adamson was caught off guard when Yoshioka was left wide open with only Viray between him and the goal. The Japanese midfielder would’ve been offside but he collected the ball inside his team’s half, rendering him onside. Using his pace, Yoshioka clinically finished past the helpless Adamson goalkeeper to make it a three-goal lead for Ateneo with still eight minutes left in the half. It nearly became four before the break had Gaudiel converted a shot from a Yoshioka pass at the 42nd minute. Hence, it stayed at 3-0 when the halftime whistle sounded.
The three-goal advantage Ateneo had didn’t last long as it was inflated early in the second half. At the 51st minute, Yoshioka garnered his second of the night. He did it by getting onto a loose ball inside the box before coolly finishing it into the bottom corner. Moments later, Gayoso produced what could be the league’s fastest brace in history. Last year’s top Blue Eaglet went guns blazing approaching the hour mark. First, Gayoso chipped the ball from the edge of the box to make it 5-0. Straight after the restart, the Blue Eagles made a similar move after Mabanag’s penalty conversion. This time around, Gayoso made it count by slotting the ball into the onion bag.
Leading by six goals, Ateneo moved forward loosely, giving every player who dared to shoot the opportunity to join the scoring party. Kendall Colet, Rupert Baña and Gaudiel were among the eager eagles to make it to the scoresheet, but none of them managed to connect on target. It had to be Yoshioka who claimed Ateneo’s seventh of the night by dancing around the Adamson defense before sliding the ball calmly in at the 78th minute.
The Soaring Falcons tried to save face in the dying seconds of the game but Oracion denied them a consolation goal that could have come via a Kairyll Parao free kick in added time. It preserved the glamour of the thrashing as Ateneo now joins NU and UP in a three-way logjam for fourth. More importantly, it pleased the Ateneo camp who have the worst defensive record among the teams that won at least two games this season.
“Para sa akin, medyo satisfied ako sa result. Ito talaga ‘yung game na hinahanap ko–hindi kami nag concede. Nakita ko na talagang organized kami sa defending,” Merida gleefully remarked after the match. The win gives his team a much-needed boost in the grueling race for a semi-final place. They will return to action in two weeks time when they seek revenge against the league-leading UST team. As for Adamson, who are still in seventh, a date with the resurgent FEU Tamaraws is up next.