Borlongan stars as undermanned UP blows by UE in men's football
Santino Honasan on Mar 23, 2017 07:38 PM
UP's JB Borlongan (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against UE
Even without a handful of key players, defending champions University of the Philippines managed to take a decisive 3-1 win over University of the East in UAAP Season 79 men's football action, Thursday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Ateneo de Manila.
The Maroons were playing without skipper Daniel Gadia, defender Ian Clarino, and keeper Ace Villanueva, who were called up to the Under-23 national team.
While the scoreline looked commanding, it wasn't without some intense moments, especially in the first five minutes of action that produced two quick goals.
Four minutes into the match, JB Borlongan gave the Maroons an early edge, firing one off from behind the penalty box and bouncing it straight into the defender's face and then past UE keeper Frank Rieza's hands.
Just seconds later, the Red Warriors found a quick equalizer, courtesy of Mar Diano's fifth-minute strike.
With the match at level, UP turned up the pressure and eventually broke the deadlock once again, with Borlongan hitting his second goal in the 32nd minute for a 2-1 lead at halftime.
Late in the second half, Sebastian Patangan sealed the match, making it a two-goal cushion for UP at the 77th minute after capitalizing on a mishandle from Rieza.
UE would get a clean shot towards the waning moments of the match, but nothing would fall, and UP held on for the 3-1 win.
"Definitely, huge adjustment na wala yung leaders ng team, Gadia and Ian, especially at the back, kulang ng coordination, kulang ng command sa back line," UP head coach Anto Gonzales said following the match. "We were pretty unstable in the first half and that really made it difficult for us to establish yung attack namin."
"Hopefully as we move on to the next games, we will try to address yung command from the back and then really ask more from the older players in terms of stepping up." Gonzales added.
With the win, UP improves to six wins, three draws, and one loss for 22 points, just one behind league-leading Ateneo.
UE on the other hand, drops to one win, two draws, and seven losses for five points.