De La Salle Zobel defeated archrival Ateneo High School eking a 4-2 in the UAAP Season 85 High School Boys' Football Tournament, Sunday at the UP Diliman Football Field.
Junior Green Booters skipper Jian Caraig was central to La Salle’s win as he scored twice in the 27th and 88th minutes while making key passes that led to the goals of Alonso Aguilar and Ishitaro Mori in the 21st and 36th minutes.
Caraig, though, had a mixed evening as he skied a penalty attempt in the first half and actually missed an open goal in the second period.
The Blue Eagles tried their best to earn their first points of the season. Ateneo actually drew first blood thanks to Jose Mari Milo’s opener in the 16th minute.
Ateneo brought itself back in the contest before halftime courtesy of James Del Valle’s 44th-minute strike, but it ultimately was not enough to deny an eventual La Salle victory.
“We need to work on our finishing,” said Juniors Green Booters coach Hans-Peter Smit. “There have been so many chances that we missed on sure goals. But of course, these are kids so they make mistakes.
“If we want to go all the way to the finals and all, this is just the second game of the first round. So let’s see how they do against FEU. They have to learn because these chances against FEU, you cannot miss these chances against FEU," he continued.
During the day’s early kick-off, 10-time defending champions Far Eastern University-Diliman scored a come-from-behind 2-1 victory at the expense of University of Santo Tomas.
The Baby Tamaraws had to buck a slow start as the Junior Golden Booters captain Byron Christopher Abela managed to find the back of the net in the 34th minute of the match amidst the scramble in the FEU box.
However, UST’s joy was short-lived. FEU striker Selwyn Nickos Mamon scored his fourth goal of the tournament in the 45+1 minute to level the contest for the Diliman-based side.
Come the second half, Bryan Ezekiel Villanueva scored the winning goal in the 73rd minute for the Baby Tamaraws as the Junior Golden Booters’ late rally was not enough to salvage a point in the end.
“We have to start better,” lamented FEU-D head coach Vince Santos. “We have to start stronger next time. I felt that we were flat in the first half. I guess (the players) were excited about the moments of the UAAP and so I don’t know. We have to settle them down and play our game earlier.”
DLSZ Junior Green Booters (dark) vs Ateneo Blue Eagles (light)
January 29, 2023
UP Diliman Football Pitch