UAAP: Lady Booters close elimination round with emphatic late-game victory over Fighting Maroons, 3-2

Looking to end the elimination round with an emphatic win heading into the Finals, the DLSU Lady Booters’ late-match comeback allowed them to thwart the UP Fighting Maroons, 3-2, earlier tonight, May 4, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch.

Early-game dramatics

UP was quick to strike, with Isabella Dumada-og finding the back of the net in the second minute to shockingly put her side ahead, 1-0. Immediately after, Shai Del Campo found herself on goal but was taken down, leading to a penalty. Del Campo was tasked to take the spot kick she had earned but found her attempt in the arms of UP shot-stopper Eunice Eduave.

It was a nightmarish situation for the eleven from Taft, with the Fighting Maroons quickly padding the lead with a goal from Aurea Reaso on a counterattack.

Although they found themselves at a sizable disadvantage quickly, the Lady Booters only fought harder, carving out attempts but struggling to send them on goal. In the 24th minute, La Salle finally made their breakthrough as Angelica Teves beat two UP defenders and laid off a ball to a trailing Mari Layacan for her first goal of the evening, 2-1.

Things were finally clicking for La Salle, finding their momentum on the ball, consistently advancing their attack into the final third but continued to struggle in their finishing. With her off-ball movement continuing to give the opposition problems, it was Layacan who struck again to level the score, 2-all, assisted by Del Campo.

Despite an unideal start, the match entered its halftime break with the score leveled and the momentum on the side of DLSU.

Late-game comeback

Coming off the halftime break with a tight score at 2-all, the DLSU Lady Booters were determined to take home the last game of Round Two with a solid win. Just a few minutes into the second half, UP’s Reaso had a scoring attempt that started with a dribble down the left flank and cut inside the middle, but then a right-footed shot attempt inside the penalty arc went straight to the keeper.

A few minutes after this action-filled play, UP’s Regine Chua collided with one of the Lady Booters and needed immediate medical assistance at the 62nd minute—eventually getting stretchered off the pitch. After the game resumed, the ball went out of bounds, UP getting the last touch which led to La Salle gaining a corner kick, but Tenelyn Otom came in short, hitting the goal post. 

At the 70th and 73rd mark, La Salle converted two attempts to break the deadlock but wasted it as both were deflected off the legs of the defenders. One of the standouts from Katipunan managed to score a late goal but was called offside coming from a foul from the DLSU penalty box, which was not called by the referee. This ignited screams from the La Salle supporters who were clearly unhappy about the referee’s decision.

Due to the bad call, it riled up the Lady Booters to convert a late-game goal at the 90+5 mark, highlighting a corner kick by Del Campo to give the Green-and-White the victory, 3-2.

Following this dramatic victory, La Salle is now set to take on the reigning champions FEU Lady Tamaraws in the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Football Finals. Of the last five encounters between the two teams, DLSU Head Coach Alvin Ocampo’s side has recorded one draw and four losses, including the Season 85 Finals game that saw the Lady Tamaraws end the Green-and-White’s title defense bid. 

Although his side may seem like the underdogs to many, he believes that the recent struggles of his side would make a victory all the more sweeter, “It would be a great feat to beat that jinx in the finals.”

Diego Manzano

By Diego Manzano

Tana Melgar

By Tana Melgar

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