Ang Liga: Green Booters keep composure to beat UP, advance to semis via penalty shootout

The DLSU Green Booters’ Team 1 managed to notch a win in their Ang Liga Season 19 Division 1 quarterfinals match versus the UP Fighting Maroons, winning the penalty shootout, 3-2, after a goalless 90 minutes of regulation play earlier today, October 22, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch.

In the penalty decider, it was Gabe Suarez, Carlos Lozano, and Vin Dela Cruz that stepped up to secure the Green and White’s ticket to the semifinals. In the fourth round of the contest, Ico Mangaoang made a crucial save to seal the deal.

First-half stalemate

La Salle held onto possession of the ball early on but were unable to threaten the home side’s defense; The Fighting Maroons made it clear that the Green Booters would not earn any chances to goal that easily, setting the physical tempo as Isaac Anoh went down twice in the first 20 minutes of the match.

DLSU continuously looked to challenge the UP defense through the wings. Looking to change things up, Enrique Vecin and Suarez decided to swap sides. The change in their front three saw them play the ball more in the final third, with a golden chance coming after an Anoh-Suarez play behind the Fighting Maroon defense down the right flank. Suarez managed to whip in a cross for Vecin who sent a header across the UP goal, though it was caught before Anoh could pounce on the ball—allowing the team from Diliman to let out a sigh of relief.

The Green Booters pressed harder in the latter moments of the first half as UP tried to develop their play from the back end. In what was the squad from Taft’s best opportunity of the half, Anoh had a look at goal in the 40th minute but his left-footed shot from outside the box went north of the crossbar.

Exchanging blows 

UP’s Loyd Soco nearly opened the scoring after managing to cut into the La Salle box, but his shot went long. From there, the game reached a point of stagnation. Struggling to push the ball deep into UP’s defensive half, DLSU turned to a series of early crosses that were unable to lead to chances.

Mangaoang made a crucial save on a UP free kick that led to a solid counter by La Salle. In response, Lozano’s shot that resulted from a scramble in the box sailed over the goal. Both sides grew hungry for a crucial goal that could send them to semifinals in the scrappy action that ensued. At the end of regulation, the game was without a winner and went into a penalty shootout, 0-all. 

UP managed to go early in the shootout after Vincent Parpan’s conversion from the spot but ultimately lost after three misses—one of which was forced by Mangaoang’s sharp guess. With the shootout tied at 2-all, it was incoming UAAP sophomore Vin Dela Cruz who volunteered to take the fifth kick. 

The game-winner shared what he thought at that moment, “Of course, the pressure [was] on me. I had to give it my all. If it goes in [or] if it doesn’t, it’s okay.” Whether he was successful or not, he viewed it as exposure for himself to step up and put his team on his shoulders. As cool as possible, the third-year student drilled his spot kick into the goal to allow his team to advance.

Ayan, pumasok. At least yung sacrifice ng team for the win, [nabigyan].”

(There, my penalty went in. At least the sacrifice of the team was rewarded.)

Following this victory, the DLSU Men’s Football Team face another tall challenge in the semifinals where they will face the ADMU Blue Eagles for a chance to advance to the finals.

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

Leave a Reply