UAAP: Green Booters drop close affair versus Tamaraws

The DLSU Green Booters suffered a second loss in as many games as they fell to the FEU Tamaraws, 2-1, Sunday, February 26, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch.

Staying on their toes

Looking to take control of the match from the kickoff, the Green Booters were ambushed by the Tamaraws’ press that prevented them from progressing the ball out of their own half. FEU, on the other hand, had no trouble getting into the final third early on in the game. The breakthrough came in the sixth minute when DLSU team captain Jovan Marfiga was unable to clear the pass inside the box. This blunder gave FEU’s Sherwin Basindanan a clear chance to head the ball to Geri Martin Rey whose off-the-ground shot beat La Salle keeper Mig Brosoto and gave the Tamaraws a 1-0 lead early.

FEU maintained their hold on the match in the next 20 minutes as La Salle struggled to get their passes together to build a consistent attack. The play also became more physical, resulting in both teams having to make substitutions early due to injuries. The Green Booters had their first big chance in the 28th minute after veteran Mohammad Almohjili’s free kick hit the crossbar and came back to an open Isaac Anoh, whose attempt missed the target. However, La Salle immediately had another opportunity at the 29th minute when Paolo Go put in a low cross that found Mikio Umilin at the back post to slot it in for the equalizer.

The Tamaraws recovered ground in the match, taking control of possession again. The Green Booters still grew steadily into the game, as La Salle had a chance to take the lead at the 33rd minute when Almohjili played in Anoh—who took the shot just inside the box but was unable to hit the target. Tamaraw Ace Amita almost restored FEU’s advantage with a shot from way outside the box but Brosoto was able to parry the ball away from the top-right corner. The teams kept the pressure on in the remaining minutes of the first half but the score stayed at 1-1.

Unable to capitalize

Both sides were eager to break the deadlock in the opening moments of the second half, aggressively challenging each other at the wings. The momentum of the game shifted in favor of the Green and White after FEU’s Mel Anthony Baylon saw red after receiving his second yellow of the match at the 51’ mark. Going against the 10-man Tamaraws allowed La Salle’s Anoh to seem poised to break the deadlock at the 57’ mark—following through on goal before the linesman raised his flag calling for offside.
Despite being at a numbers disadvantage, the team from Diliman managed to gain an edge in the match. Tamaraw Khent Brian Valenzuela proved to be the difference-maker, scoring what turned out to be the deciding goal with a cool finish into the bottom right corner at the 63rd minute after Karl Absolon’s dribble penetrated through the team from Taft’s lines, 2-1.

DLSU attempted to throw numbers and long balls at the depleted FEU squad but struggled to crack into their opponent’s back four. The Tamaraws nearly extended their lead at the 83’ mark after Stephen Soria made a dangerous run into the box before Green Booter Manu Cruel’s perfectly-timed tackle defused the danger. The match went into nine long minutes of added time, with DLSU’s best chance coming from Vin Dela Cruz nearly going one-on-one into the opposing goal.

La Salle was unable to carve out an equalizer before the final whistle blew, seeing the Green and White record their second loss in as many games as they fell to the now second-seeded FEU.  Now tied with the AdU Soaring Falcons at the bottom of the table for the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Football tournament, the DLSU Green Booters hope to overtake their opponents at 4 pm on March 5 at the same venue.

Aren Reyes

By Aren Reyes

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

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