Caption: La Salle striker Al Bustamante (16) races towards the goal past the fallen USLS defender Jimmy Malaloan (3) and goal keeper David Aquino (1) as a helpless Paolo Mendoza (8) looks on.
Bustamante rescues DLSU in a 1-nil thriller over USLS
by rick olivares with photo by brosi gonzales
October 28, 2011
Villareal Field, Roxas City
It’s been a strange tournament for De La Salle University. They drew their opening assignment and abandoned their second. They only made it to the quarterfinals because they were in the only group with three teams and so they advanced on goal difference. Then they beat the Cinderella team of the tournament Dipolog Memorial Medical Center (who defeated Ateneo de Manila 2-1 and the University of the Philippines 3-0) 2-1 to advance to the semifinals against University of St. La Salle.
The Stingers with their bevy of U-23 National Champions.
On the smelly and stinky Villareal Field that has been destroyed by incessant rain and trodden on by dozens of football boots in the last six days, the Stingers found a way to dominate with Joel Bedia and J Baguioro repeatedly making runs up the left flank. Time and again, they would find striker Joshua Beloya and midfielder Ralph Layumas for strikes but if they were not stopped by the Green Archers’ back four, then reserve keeper Josh Cruz found a way to block them.
With less than 10 minutes in the game, DLSU head coach Hans Smit sent in Al Bustamante to replace a limping Arturo Enriquez in the forward position alongside Don Rabaya. His freshness and pace injected new life in DLSU.
In the 89th minute, USLS defender Jimmy Malaloan passed the ball back to keeper Dave Aquino. To Aquino’s horror, Bustamante snuck up behind Malaloan. The Stingers’ keeper dove to snag the ball but Bustamante got a boot on the ball to send it through the goal.
With an attack borne of desperation (there were only four minutes of added time), USLS thought it had the equalizer when Baguioro scored except he was whistled for being offside. The USLS players protested vehemently and one was issued a yellow card for using profane language.
USLS had one last attack in them but La Salle’s defense held them off. As time expired, an exuberant La Salle team piled on Bustamante in the middle of the stinky and smelly field.
Even for only a minute, it was a good feeling.
Said the ever-loquacious Smit: “On a pitch like this, it’s all about using one’s head and being smart. You know that the pitch will not favor short passing so you adapt. You play aggressive and hope the defense makes a mistake. We worked hard for that goal and defending a very good team like Bacolod (USLS).”
The men’s football final featuring DLSU and University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (which beat the University of the Philippines 2-1 in stoppage time) will be held on Saturday at 2:30 pm at the stinky and smelly Villareal field in Roxas City, Capiz.