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UAAP Finals: DLSU Men’s Football team stumble, fail to claim championship against ADMU Blue Eagles, 2-1

The DLSU Men’s Football Team failed to make a stop as they lost the championship to the ADMU Blue Eagles, 2-1, earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Football Field.

After the game, team captain Jed Diamante shared his thoughts on this season, “I’m just really proud of the boys [for making it this far] because this was supposed to be the year where we were trying to build the foundations of La Salle football.”

Leveled first half

The match started with both teams playing at a high intensity, as both battled for possession. Afterwards, La Salle failed to convert an early free kick at the 1’ mark.

The Blue Eagles were able to compose themselves early, taking a larger share of ball possession. However, DLSU’s Shanden Vergara attempted a shot from outside the box that went wide. With it, the Green-and-White gained momentum and continued to put pressure on Ateneo’s defense.

Toward the end of the first half, however, the side from Katipunan was able to shift the momentum to their advantage, as they continued to pounce on DLSU’s defense.

With both teams showing off their arsenal of skills, the first half ended at a tie, 0-0, as the two teams were eager to find the net in the next half.

Race to the finish line

The second half started out as a back-and-forth affair. Umilin took advantage of his pace as he sprinted to the left but missed a chance at the 46th minute mark. ADMU counter-attacked to the right wing care, of Nacional, but equally failed to convert four minutes into the second half.

The offensive mayhem continued for both teams. Diamante went for it at the 58th minute after the defensive scramble, but went wide. Green-and-White made another close call as Siggaoat’s shot at the 64th minute hit the bar.

The ice was finally broken after John Rhey Lagura confused the Atenean defense to give Almohjili the opening for the goal. But at the last minutes of the second half, a clutch goal from Jarvey Gayoso at the 89th minute kept ADMU back at the game.

With the match still leveled after 90 minutes, both teams went on the play another 30 minutes of extra time.

Early on, at the 92’ mark, Vergara dribbled past the Ateneo defense to set up Xavier Zubiri. Unfortunately, his shot sailed over the crossbar. The Blue Eagles were quick to respond, as Luca Alleje’s cross found Julian Roxas, who headed the winning goal to the back of the net.

La Salle tried to will their way back into the game by shifting to the offensive, but time was not on their side, as the referee blew the whistle at the 120’ mark.

Looking ahead

Despite the loss, the Green Booters have plenty to build on as they bagged three of the five individual awards. Shanden Vergara was named Rookie of the Year, while graduating defender Yoshiharu Koizumi was named the tournament’s Best Defender. Lastly, team captain Jed Diamante was named Best Midfielder.

“’Yung inexperience namin, that’s something we can work on. With the help of the seniors and the alumni, we established the foundations and binuhay namin ang La Salle football. You’ll be seeing more of this team in the following years,” concluded Diamante.

Rob Matibag

By Rob Matibag

Alfonso Reyes

By Alfonso Reyes

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