Despite starting off in a tentative manner, the DLSU Men’s Football Team overcame the UE Red Warriors, 2-0, last Saturday, April 9, at the McKinley Hill Stadium. Gerald Layumas and Gelo Diamante came away as the goal scorers after finding the back of the net at the 56th and 65th minute, respectively.
With the victory, La Salle now has 23 points on seven wins, two draws, and two losses. The team from Taft currently stands at third place behind the FEU Tamaraws and the UP Fighting Maroons.
Tentative first half
The first half started with La Salle being the aggressor between the two teams, while UE was on the defensive. In the first 10 minutes alone, La Salle already had multiple runs on goal. The Red Warriors were able to hold off the multiple attacks from DLSU and retaliated with counterattacks of their own, but they were unable to get past the defensive line of their opponents.
In the 17th minute, DLSU’s Greggy Yang got close to giving La Salle the lead but both his attempts inside the box were denied by the UE defense. Three minutes later, DLSU launched yet another attack, but striker Rigo Joseph was penalized with a yellow card after he decked UE keeper Lendon Clores. La Salle continued to control most of the possession, but was unable to get past the Red Warrior defense. On the other hand, UE was able to get the ball deep into enemy territory, but they too were unable to convert. Both teams headed to the locker room at halftime without a goal.
Improved second half
Similar to the first half, La Salle wasted no time as they continued their assault on the UE defense in hopes of finding an opening. Ten minutes into the half, La Salle earned a chance to score as Yang was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box. His shot was blocked by the defender, but bounced towards the middle and was recovered by Layumas, who shot it past the keeper to open the scoring for La Salle, 1-0.
With the Red Warriors struggling to regain composure, La Salle took advantage by applying additional pressure. In the 64th minute, Nace Gonzales subbed in for Jed Diamante and as the substitution was made, La Salle immediately initiated a quick play that opened up Gelo Diamante, who scored once again after chipping the ball past the keeper and into the top corner to give DLSU a 2-0 lead over UE.
With a commanding lead, the Green-and-White grew more confident while their opponents were in a slump. In spite of this, the UE defense was able to regain composure and were able to fend off multiple attacks from their opponents. In the 83rd minute, UE defender Louie Polinag dove in front of the goal to deny yet another open goal attempt from La Salle. With less than 10 minutes left in the match, the La Salle squad iced the match by keeping their opponents at bay.
“We started well but we just couldn’t convert. We had the possession and the team played well,” team captain Gelo Diamante said after the game. “We came in the second half a little bit stronger. We kept pushing until we got the goals.”
Up next for the DLSU Men’s Football Team are the ADMU Blue Eagles, whom they will play on Thursday, April 14, at 2pm in the Moro Lorenzo Field in Ateneo.