The DLSU Men’s Football Team established its first winning streak of the season by defeating the UE Red Warriors, 2-0, earlier today in the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. Marcus Garcia scored the only goal of the first half as he slotted the ball in at the 26th minute. Jose Montelibano added another goal at the 53rd minute to cap off the win for La Salle.
Sloppy first half
The Lasallians quickly earned a free kick near the edge of the box three minutes into the game. Yoshiharu Koizumi took the free kick, but his efforts were blocked by the UE wall. This proved to be the last action for the Green-and-White as it remained dull in the next 17 minutes.
UE dominated most of the possession and capitalized on DLSU’s untidy passing. Krysler Opena received a lobbed through ball from a teammate and immediately ran down the right wing. He then passed the ball to a teammate who quickly found Regil Galaura for a shot. Galaura attempted a shot inside the box, but was blocked the La Salle defense.
DLSU managed to gain a decent amount of ball possession as it attempted to open the scoreline. Jose Montelibano had the first chance to break the deadlock, but failed to meet a cross. A few moments later, it was Nace Gonzales who tried to make an impact on the game. He attempted an audacious volley after receiving a lob from a teammate, but his shot was too strong and went over the crossbar.
The team from Taft earned the first goal of the game as Marcus Garcia snatched a goal at the 26th minute. Gonzales sent a superb cross from the right corner which was met by Garcia. The rookie calmly received the ball and volleyed it down low past UE goalkeeper Frank Rieza.
The Lasallians appeared to be energized by Garcia’s goal as they created two more scoring chances at the end of the half. Koizumi took another free kick, but this time found Gonzales, who was judged to be offside. Both players attempted another combination play five minutes later although Gonzales was unable to find Koizumi with a low through ball.
The Red Warriors initiated a couple of counter attacks prior to the halftime whistle behind Galaura, which were denied by goalkeeper Kerbi Almonte and Jhoguev Ybanez.
Lively second half
DLSU continued to control the game as it continued to press UE at the start of the second half. Their hunger to get the second goal was evident as the Lasallians played with more conviction. Noel Brago, Nicko Villacin, and Ybanez marshaled the backline brilliantly as they contained the UE offense.
DLSU earned its second goal at the 53rd minute with Montelibano as the scorer. Gonzales’ cross to Garcia was too strong, but the latter managed to find Montelibano. The veteran failed to connect with the ball in his initial attempt, but improvised to place the ball in the back of the net.
The succeeding minutes saw both teams shuffling their line-ups by bringing in substitutes. Cristian Zubiri and Mauro Acot both had attempts in the dying minutes of the game, but did not yield a goal.
When asked about the assessment of the game, head coach Hans Smit responded, “They’re getting their W’s and that’s the most important thing for me, to get their confidence back, to be able to play, and to be able to score. But there are still things that they still have to work out on.”
“The target is to get to the top four. Mathematically, I told them it’s still possible, so we’ll just work on that, then one game at a time… If we do well in our next game, I am more confident to say that we’ll reach our target,” Smit added.
La Salle will aim to achieve its third straight win against the FEU Tamaraws on Saturday, March 25, at 4pm, in the same venue.