The DLSU Green Booters drew the UP Fighting Maroons, 0-all, earlier tonight, March 16, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch.
Testing the waters
UP dominated DLSU in the midfield early on, working the ball into La Salle’s box for opportunities that were just off target, including an open Francis Tacardon volley from the edge of Enrico Mangaoang’s penalty area at the 18’ mark. At the 25th minute, Isaac Anoh managed to create a threat as the target man on the counter but was tackled before he could get a shot off as the UP defense snuffed out the danger.
Just before the 30th minute, a free kick was awarded to the team from Diliman. Emilio Bongolon’s inswinging cross to the back post led to a goal-bound header which rookie Mangaoaong was able to pick out of the air, eliminating the danger in DLSU’s offensive third. The Fighting Maroons’ most dangerous chance came at the 38-minute mark after a gap in the left flank of the Green and White resulted in a near miss that slipped past Mangaoang before rattling La Salle’s goal frame.
After an uneventful first half where the Taft-based squad stayed on the defensive, the match remained tied, 0-0.
Heading into the second half, Coach Alvin Ocampo’s team seemed to play with more intensity and urgency while putting heavy emphasis on winning the ball in Diliman-based team’s half to result in more chances for the Green Archers. The physicality of the first half carried onto the second half as both teams accumulated three yellow cards each, including red cards on both team benches for DLSU Captain Joven Marfiga and UP Head Coach Anto Gonzales.
Compared to the first half, the Fighting Maroons struggled to create chances as DLSU continuously crowded out their forwards and midfielders from the moment they touched the ball to prevent any build up play.
In an otherwise great performance, Mangaoang miscued a clearance during a UP corner at the 84th minute that left the DLSU goal wide open, but the Diliman-based side was unable to capitalize on the opportunity. Only two minutes after, it was UP keeper Chevy Celeste’s turn to make a mistake coming off a set piece, leaving Christian Peñalosa open at the back post for a header—but even he was unable to finish off the chance to give DLSU the lead. In the end, both teams failed to gain the advantage and the game ended in a stalemate.
After this result, the DLSU Men’s Football Team sits as the fifth seed on the UAAP Season 85 table. La Salle are tied with UP with seven points but are at a disadvantage on goal difference—with a goal difference of zero to the Fighting Maroons’ two. The DLSU Green Booters go up next against the third-seeded ADMU Blue Eagles in their rivalry match at 4 pm on Sunday, March 19, at the same venue.