UAAP: Green Booters ruffles Soaring Falcons’ feathers in dominant 4-0 victory

The DLSU Green Booters’ victorious nature has finally reemerged in the second round of the UAAP Season 86 Men’s Football Tournament as they toppled the AdU Soaring Falcons, 4-0, earlier tonight, April 4, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch.

The all-star scoresheet of La Salle displayed DLSU goal-maker Isaac Anoh, defensive maestro Rain Del Rosario, the Man of the Match Christian Peñalosa, and Team Captain Mo Almohjili. 

Lead-footed escalation

The Green Booters got dragged by the currents of a wilted start, with neither aggression nor drive on the side of either team. The few audiences on the pitch sat through a series of unsuccessful corners and unconverted opportunities due to the slow buildup of play between the Lasallians and Falcons. Anoh, La Salle’s star forward who assembled half of DLSU’s accumulated points this UAAP season, strived to deliver what was expected of his spunk. Meanwhile, Adamson was dominating the possession of the ball, with opportunities seeming to tip in their favor. Despite this, star goalkeeper Enrico Mangaoang kept his ground, eventually punching out Arjay Buenaobra’s corner at the 35th mark. This close shot by the Falcons was a wake-up call to La Salle, in time with Anoh’s drive that saw him fire a shot past Andrew Nalog, AdU’s goalkeeper, and straight to the post at the 36th-minute, giving the Green Booters a one-point lead and a glimpse of their desired victory. 

Starting then, the Lasallians gave Nalog some work on the goal line, while JP Bengay and Peñalosa forced the Falcons to upgrade their defensive strategies. Bengay’s free kick at 43’ and Paolo Go’s mistargeted left-foot strike at 46’ proved that the Green Booters finally found their momentum but still had more work to do, closing off the first half with a 1-nil control over Adamson. 

Exclamation point ending

Inspired by their first-half lead, the Green Booters continued to push on to build a comfortable lead. With the Soaring Falcons looking for an equalizer, the Lasallian defense had to be smart to maintain their well-built lead. Del Rosario remained solid in preventing the Adamson from creating any chances. His efforts gave the DLSU midfielders and forwards confidence to attack and worry Nalog on the other end.

During the 59th minute, the Green Booters would see their constant pressure bear fruit as Luis Henares drew a foul. Peñalosa took the free kick from long range and found Del Rosario, who headed the ball into the net to double the Lasallian lead, 2-0. It looked like the Soaring Falcons would get a chance to get back in the game as they were awarded a free kick near the DLSU box, but Mangaoang made a crucial save from Roque Empleo’s free-kick to keep the clean sheet. 

The Green-and-White did not hold anything back as they continued to apply pressure to AdU and hunted for a third possible goal. They found their breakthrough in the 71’ mark as Almohjili threaded a wonderful through ball for Peñalosa, who found himself in an ideal one-on-one with Nalog to add to the DLSU lead with a strong shot, 3-0. Despite a three-goal cushion, the Green Booters kept their press on the Adamson defenders, hoping to gain possession. This would present another breakthrough for the Lasallians as they were given a corner kick in the 82nd minute wherein Almohjili’s powerful kick was too strong for the Nalog to catch as the ball went past the line to give the Green Booters their fourth goal, 4-0. With a comfortable lead, Coach Alvin Ocampo handed fresh players like Aron Aljama, Pomeroy Veloso, and Isaac Posadas some game time to get into the groove in the closing minutes of a dominant win, 4-0.

Following this win, the DLSU Green Booters remain fifth in the standings with 12 points and four more games to play in Round Two. The Green-and-White will be looking to build on this victory and boost their Final Four bid as they take on the second-seeded UP Fighting Maroons on their home turf on Sunday, April 7, at 4 pm.

Angel Migue

By Angel Migue

Daniel Quiroga

By Daniel Quiroga

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