The DLSU Men’s Football Team bounced back from their disappointing loss to the ADMU Blue Eagles after defeating the AdU Soaring Falcons, 2-0, at the McKinley Hill Stadium yesterday, April 17. Greggy Yang and rookie Jed Diamante provided the scoring for La Salle, as the win secured the team a top-four finish and a Final Four slot in the UAAP Season 78 Football Tournament.
“The team played beautifully, and in coherence. We showed our unity inside,” said Diamante. “We fixed our passing and combinations. Ang kulang nalang talaga was our finishing. That’s one thing we need to work on.”
La Salle, despite dictating the tempo of the game and having the lion’s share of possession, failed to open the score line early on. AdU looked to pounce on the counter attack but only managed to get two scoring attempts throughout the game.
Lackluster first half
The Green-and-White failed to convert their chances throughout the first half as Christian Zubiri and co-captain Nace Gonzales misfired multiple times in their respective scoring attempts. Jhoguev Ybañez managed to get on-target from a distance in the 17th minute only to be denied by AdU goalkeeper Carl Viray.
Full-back Gerald Layumas looked to support the offense as his attempt, which was also from distance, sailed just over the crossbar. Viray had his work cut out for him in the first half, as Zubiri further added on the pressure with a layoff to Jojo Borromeo, who was unable to convert in the 38th minute.
The Green-and-White finally opened the scoreline in the 44th minute courtesy of leading scorer Yang. He met a cross inside the penalty box from fellow midfielder Borromeo as he sent the ball past Viray for his eighth goal of the season.
Aggressive second half
DLSU continued their relentless pace on the offensive end, while negating any attempts by Adamson. La Salle had many chances on goal, dominating ball possession on their side of the field. Their first attempt of the second half came from a header by Zubiri off a Javi Romero-Salas cross that went wide in the 52nd minute. Four minutes later, rookie Brye Rabino’s attempt went just over the crossbar for the Soaring Falcons.
A series of attempts would once again hound the AdU defense, as Borromeo, Diamante, Layumas, and Romero-Salas all had chances on goal, but Viray was able to hold down the fort.
Diamante would finally ice the game with a header in the 86th minute, putting the ball out of Viray’s reach. The crafty Jiggs Cruz, who came off the bench in this game, continued to push the pace for the Green-and-White, just coming up short for a third goal.
The final score line did not reflect the dominance shown by the Green-and-White over the stingy AdU team, who were looking to pull off an upset against last year’s runner-up.
Up next for the DLSU Men’s Football Team are the UST Growling Tigers, whom they will face on Thursday, April 21, at 4 pm in the Moro Lorenzo Field in Ateneo.
“Kailangan talaga namin istrengthen yung defense namin as a team and we will work on our finishing,” Diamante emphasized.