by Edison Ubaldo
Season 74 Goal Keeper of the Year Tyrone Caballes of University of the Philippines committed the worst mistake of his career when he lost focus and failed to properly receive a pass from Gerardo Valmayor en route to an own goal in the 88th minute against rookie team National University Bulldogs settling for a 2-2 draw at Ateneo de Manila University’s Erenchun Field, December 13.
The three-peat-seeking Fighting Maroons was leading 2-1 and looked to be heading for a bounceback victory after a lackluster 3-nil loss against the Far Eastern University Tamarraws when Caballes got distracted as he drank water from his tumbler beside the goal post and did not anticipate the pass then carelessly receiving it for the shocking goal.
The Men’s Team doubled the grave blunder committed by the Women’s Team Wednesday when they surrendered an own goal against UST. They lost 3-nil.
“Lucky,” said Coach Lem Laranas of NU. “Maswerte kami at naka-eqaualize pa kami. Madami din kaming chances. ‘Yung goals kasi ng UP, lapses lang din namin eh. So parang nabawi lang dun sa error din nila.”
Coach Laranas added that going into the game, they were thinking of solidifying their defense and counter through wing play attacks. Gaining experience was the main priority for the boys for them to get a hand of the game as the Bulldogs are just in their first year in the UAAP.
NU pulled off an early shocker when they caught the Fighting Maroons flat footed in the early goings finding the back of the net in the 27th minute courtesy of striker Anthony Antipolo.
UP shelved the early slip and dominated ball possession in the succeeding minutes creating a lot of scoring opportunities until 2011 Southeast Asian Games veteran Valmayor finally struck the equalizer in the 40th minute off a brilliant pass from rookie Vincent Aguilar.
Valmayor, who also scored the lone game-winner goal against University of the East, continued his veteran display by constantly penetrating the defense of NU leading the UP offense. He again registered a goal in 75th minute via a left cross to take the upperhand.
It was all UP then on with the Maroons pestering NU inside the box until Caballes committed the stunning error which cost them the game.
“Football is sometimes like that, it’s cruel. No matter how you play well sometimes you wouldn’t score and sometimes you would commit stupid mistakes, “ said UP Head Coach Anto Gonzales, who is also part of the Philippine Azkals but was cut in the Suzuki Cup 22-man roster.
UP fell to a 1-1-1 card for 4 points and will next face De La Salle University on Sunday, December 16.