By Kevin Estrada
MANILA--Far Eastern University and De La Salle University defeated their separate foes to forge an exciting final next week in their respective semifinal matches held on Sunday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Tamaraws needed a quick second half brace from leading goal scorer Barbie Ann Sobredo to put away a pesky University of Santo Tomas in the first of the doubleheader 3-0, while the Lady Archers needed a last-minute miracle of Chelo Hodges to eke out a close 1-0 victory over archrivals Ateneo De Manila University.
The defending Women’s Cup and UAAP champions imposed their will against the Tigresses, scoring in each half to book their second consecutive Final.
Jovelle Sudaria’s 13th minute rocket from long range gave the Lady Tams a slim 1-0 lead heading into the break.
But the first five minutes of the second half belong to the UAAP Season 75 MVP.
Sobredo made it 2-0 from the spot just three minutes into the restart after UST was found guilty of handball inside the box.
A minute later, she tripled the lead on a counterattack to bring her goal scoring tally to six after scoring four during the group stage.
Meanwhile, Hans Smit’s ladies bucked a slow first half before a last minute goal by the UAAP Season 77 Rookie of the Year propelled them to the final, in a match that was similar to their men’s counterparts in an epic last season’s semifinal.
Chances were few and far from between as their defense hold firm in the first half. But in the second half, action picked up with numerous chances went for naught, with the Lady Eagles get the closest of them, after a free kick pinballs its way to the box but their finishing left them wanting.
Those missed chances made them pay in the closing minutes of the match, after a counterattack found Hodges in the left side of the box and slots the lone goal of the match with her left foot after beating two defenders in her run. The match was settled the same way Gelo Diamante did it three minutes from time last March.
FEU and La Salle will dispute the second installment of the Women’s Cup in the final next Sunday at the said venue. The Tigresses and the Lady Eagles will fight for third place earlier before the final.