By Luisa Morales
The University of the Philippines (UP) nabbed back-to-back wins as both UP Diliman men’s and women’s football teams overpowered their opponents at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, Saturday.
The Lady Maroons got their first win of the season, coming back against the University of Santo Tomas (UST), 2-1.
Meanwhile, the Fighting Maroons handed second-seed Far Eastern University their first loss, 1-0.
The España squad controlled the match during the first half, converting their possessions with chances and making the match a tough start for the Lady Maroons.
Maroon goalie Nicole Adlawan kept the match goalless for most of the half, but Tigress Charise Lemoran managed to elude State U’s defense and bring the ball to the back of the net at injury time (45+2) to put UST up, 1-0.
But the Lady Maroons did not back down. The defending champions finally showed up at the second half, scoring two goals within three minutes to rise up against UST.
State U substitute Patricia Malonzo scored at the 57th mark and provided an assist at the 60th mark to teammate Claudia Mendoza to give them the lead, 2-1.
UST tried to bring the match back to a deadlock, but Adlawan denied them every time.
Meanwhile, the Fighting Maroons also emerged on top in an intense battle against FEU, one of the top football teams this season.
Both teams drew a lot of chances in the first half but could not convert, finishing the half still at a deadlock.
Despite misses from good attempts by State U, the defending champions kept their aggressiveness in the second half.
In a spectacular sequence, Maroon JB Borlongan intercepted the ball from the FEU side and passed to teammate Arvin Resuma to lead the ball past the Tamaraw goalie to break the deadlock at the 65th minute mark, 1-0.
State U stayed on the attack almost hitting another goal from a free kick if not for the crossbar, while FEU struggled to cope with UP’s offense.
The Fighting Maroons are now tied with the Tamaraws at the second spot with 18 points each, while the Lady Maroons improve to four points at the expense of second-ranked UST.
The Lady Maroons are set to face the FEU Lady Tamaraws on March 29 while the Fighting Maroons go up against the University of the East (UE) on March 23.
(The photo was taken from the UP Women’s Football Team Facebook page.)