La Salle scrapes past UE for their opening win

Noel Brago and La Salle were made to work by UE. (contributed photo by Vhonne Servida/LiveScoresPH)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA -- La Salle finally got their opening winto get their UAAP season back on track Sunday afternpon at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Coming off a long week following their goalless draw with champions UP on opening day, the Green Archers of Hans Smit were made to work by UE's stellar defending before getting past the Red Warriors with a workmanlike 2-0 win, their first of the season.

Both teams are on equal footing at the start of the match before Yoshiharu Koizumi broke the deadlock in the 15th minute with a stunning free kick past Frank Rieza, but they found the UE backline a tough nut to crack before heading into the break leading by the slimmest of the scorelines.

However, Fitch Arboleda's men became more aggressive in the second half, as Mar Diano made Kerbi Almonte work between the stick in the first eight minutes, but La Salle made it a goalkeeping battle with their offence challenging Rieza to a series of shots but they just could not find the target.

But La Salle's persistence in front of goal made it count in the 79th minute, as they double their advantage with Rino Saldivar the unlucky one to score the season's first own goal.

Yet despite taking maximum points, the fiery gaffer was still not in the mood to celebrate, especially their next game against eternal enemy Ateneo on Thursday.

"Not good. The team's not in the groove yet, we lacked our finishing. We won, but not necessarily better," Smit said to the footballing press after the match.

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