UAAP 81 Football: DLSU back in Top 4 with win over NU
Santino Honasan on Apr 25, 2019 03:55 PM
Big win for De La Salle as they down NU to keep their Final Four hopes alive.
De La Salle University slid right back into the thick of the playoff picture after securing a crucial 3-1 win over National University, Thursday afternoon at the FEU Diliman Football Field in Quezon City.
Pressure was on the Green Archers after temporarily dropping out of the Final Four thanks to UST's big win over Ateneo in the earlier matchup.
Early on, it looked like DLSU was headed for even more trouble after Joobin Park capitalized on a keeper fumble to put NU ahead, 1-0 in the 25th minute.
It didn't take long for the Green Archers to respond, as rookie Mikio Umilin took advantage and pulled one back on an open NU goal in the 40th minute after the keeper over-committed on the defensive sequence.
DLSU continued to roll in the second half, as an NU foul resulted in a penalty opportunity, which was calmly converted by team captain Jed Diamante in the 50th minute.
The Green Archers secured the victory after Rafael Montelibano added a goal of his own in the first minute of injury time.
"Mas nabigyan kami ng chance na pumasok sa Final Four. Going into the game today, regardless of [UST's] result this morning, we really prepared na ma-secure yung win ngayon," said DLSU head coach Alvin Ocampo. "It just so happened na nauna sila, which is very disappointing, na nauna sila. Buti na lang they got to recover before halftime."
"What I told them, yung ine-emphasize namin ni Coach Hans [Smit], NU has nothing to lose because they're out of the season already, while we have a lot to lose, going into the Final Four, so sabi namin, everything will be mental," Ocampo added.
With the win, DLSU slides back up to third place with 22 points off 7 wins, 1 draw, and 5 losses. They move ahead of UP and UST, who each have 20 points.
The Green Archers will have one final test to end the season, in the form of top-seeded FEU.
NU meanwhile remains at seventh with 2 wins, 4 draws, and 7 losses for 10 points.