The DLSU Men’s Football team failed to make a comeback after suffering yet another loss, this time against the NU Bulldogs, 0-1, yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. After yesterday’s match, DLSU dropped to sixth place while NU is up at fourth, leading by one point.
“Actually, we almost had the whole game,” said assistant coach Alvin Ocampo. “We had too many chances we didn’t convert. It’s a very painful loss today, yet we’re still in contention for the Final Four.”
Controlled first half
DLSU took control of the game throughout the first half, having multiple goal opportunities open for them but unfortunately, these were not converted as most of the attempts missed the goal or were caught by the keeper
Mathew Custodio had a close chance of scoring, shooting attempt after attempt from inside the box, but had no luck whatsoever. Cristian Zubiri and Marcus Garcia also tried to contribute to the team, taking good shots at good distances but these shots were not on target as they were steered away from the goal.
When asked about the missed opportunities, all Ocampo could say was that that’s what football is about. “The missed opportunities were very crucial, cause it would change the outcome if we had converted,” he states.
Aside from the missed opportunities by La Salle, a yellow card was given to NU’s goalkeeper Chris Perocho at the 43’ mark for delaying the game. The last play of the first half was an attempt made by NU from inside the box, but it was flicked away from the goal with a header by Noel Brago.
Heartbreaking second half
The second half started with DLSU setting the pace of the game once again, getting the ball forward as fast as they could. Just two minutes into the second half, DLSU had the chance to take the lead through Zubiri, who was fed a beautiful chipped ball by Custodio, but his effort was too weak. In the 48th minute, midfielder Jed Diamante tried his luck from the long range after a corner was deflected out to him, but his shot was saved by Perocho.
DLSU seemed to be in control of the opening moments of the second half, but lacked the finishing touch, as Custodio failed to convert his chances again throughout the remaining half. His effort from close range in the 49th minute went wide, after he was played a through ball by Koizumi. In the 52nd minute, Custodio had another opportunity to get DLSU the lead but the ball was stripped from him inside the box as he tried to cut past NU’s center-back.
A number of controversial offside calls seemed to the put the coaches and the crowd on edge, as Custodio had a clear path towards the goal but was flagged offside. DLSU was rewarded a corner in the 75th minute as Custodio’s attempt was deflected out. The corner was played to Diamante who had another go from the long range, this time missing the far post by just inches.
NU looked to make a comeback through some crosses that their strikers couldn’t connect with. Their attack in the 85th minute almost got them the lead but DLSU’s keeper Paeng De Guzman denied the NU striker of his glory by making an acrobatic save at the top right corner. In the 92nd minute, NU gained the lead after midfielder Sullano took advantage of DLSU’s defensive error and powered his shot through the goal from the top left to give NU the dramatic victory, 1-0.
“Right now, we just have to recover first, because we have time to recover before the first game,” said Ocampo.” I don’t know who will be our opponent, but definitely we will do adjustments.”
As of press time, the schedule of the second round has not yet been released.