By Ernest Martin Tuazon
In a highly physical affair, the UST Junior Golden Booters (0–1) suffered an opening-day loss against the DLSZ Junior Archers (1–0) in the UAAP Season 85 high school boys football tournament, 0–1, Sunday evening, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch in Quezon City.
La Salle’s Justin Concepion converted a penalty kick at the 31st minute of the first half to score the lone goal registered in the match as DLSZ replicated their Season 82 showing where they tarnished UST’s Final Four hopes.
The Junior Golden Booters were able to defend DLSZ’s offense early in the opening period, but the latter’s proved to be too much as Junior Archer Ishitaro Mori scored another goal to close the half which was later waved off due to an offside error.
UST’s Kristien Elopre had two wide looks to open the second half of play, but his first attempt was wide to the left while his second was secured by DLSZ’s goalkeeper Jason Salvante.
The physical bout continued in the latter half where UST goalkeeper Raphael Diaz pushed off La Salle striker Viggo Herce. This resulted in yellow cards for both teams.
A controversial no-call on a handball error committed by DLSZ proved to be the difference maker that could have sent the game to the penalty period.
In the University’s last-minute hopes to equalize the game, a free kick by Dominic de Leon was caught by Salvante to secure the win for DLSZ.
The UST Junior Golden Booters look to bounce back against the 11-peat seeking FEU-Diliman Baby Tamaraws on Jan. 29, Sunday afternoon, at the same venue.