Fresh off their dominant display against their rivals, the DLSU Lady Booters produced a prolific win with multiple goals in the second half to nip the previously undefeated FEU Lady Tamaraws, 3-2, last night, March 25, at the UP Diliman Football Field.
Mari Layacan, MJ Villacin, and Arantxa Trebol scored for La Salle, securing the squad’s second straight victory. Jonela Albiño and Regine Rebosura pitched in the two goals for FEU in the losing effort.
Tightly contested matchup
Looking to build on the momentum of their first win, the Lady Booters struggled to take control of the game early on as the Lady Tamaraws held the lion’s share of possession. La Salle had their first scare of the game in the 17th minute when FEU captain Dionesa Tolentino’s long freekick nearly found the bottom corner but was just intercepted by DLSU goalkeeper Alexandrea Gumilao.
The team from Recto continued to control the pace of the game, rooting the play in La Salle’s half. However, the Taft-based squad gradually grew into the game and had their first opportunity to open the scoring in the 27th minute after Stephanie Goñe wove her way through the opposition’s box to leave her defender behind, but FEU goalkeeper Khryss Dacanay was able to parry the subsequent shot away.
Unfortunately, Gumilao was stretchered off in the 36th minute after her foot collided with the post in pursuit of a long FEU freekick that went wide. Highly-touted rookie goalkeeper Jessica Pido was subbed in for the rest of the match.
The Lady Tamaraws capitalized on more attacking opportunities in the remaining minutes of the first half. Still, the defense of Bea Delos Reyes, Tenelyn Otom, Christine Panares, and Joanna Almeda held firm, preventing high-quality chances for the rest of the period as the score remained 0-all heading into halftime.
Flood gates opening
The two teams came out hungry in the second half as the game became an end-to-end spectacle with both squads threatening to break the deadlock. The breakthrough finally came in the 51st minute when DLSU midfielder Layacan beat FEU goalkeeper Dacanay to the ball, finding space just outside the box before passing it to an open net for a 1-0 lead.
The advantage was short-lived as, in the 57th minute, Albiño took advantage of bad defending near the edge of the box and found the gap past Pido to equalize for the Lady Tamaraws at 1-1. The team from Recto nearly turned the game around with a shot from Rebosura in the following minute but Pido was able to make the save.
The Green and White continued to rely on counter-attacks to progress their way up the pitch and capitalize in the 64th minute when substitute Villacin drove to the left of the goal and found the far corner to restore La Salle’s one-goal advantage, 2-1.
The goals came quick and fast for the Lady Booters as the Taft-based squad opened up a two-goal cushion after the Lady Tamaraws were unable to clear a free kick into the box, allowing Trebol to make the crucial header that gave DLSU a 3-1 lead in the 68th minute.
The Lady Booters largely defended for the remaining minutes, holding off a barrage of FEU attacks with Pido making numerous saves in the period. But the La Salle defense was unable to deal with the high cross, allowing Rebosura to strike the ball cleanly in the third minute of added time and cut the advantage to a single goal.
The Lady Booters held on in the waning moments of the match to secure their second consecutive victory in the final game of the first round. The win puts La Salle in fourth place in the standings with a total of six points.