University of Santo Tomas (UST) ended the first round of eliminations on a strong note as it edged out University of the Philippines (UP), 3-2, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 women’s football on Saturday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The Lady Golden Booters banked on their second stringers to post their third win in a row against a loss for a tournament-best nine points.
Seven of UST’s starting XI, who suited up as substitutes in their previous outings, provided the needed spark after an early strike from UP.
The Lady Maroon Booters got into the scoreboard just a minute into the game as Blessie Perez converted a well-taken cross from Red Sajonia.
Hazel Lustan buried a free kick to quickly equalize and from then the momentum swung to the España-based side.
MJ Indac broke the deadlock with a nifty shot from outside the box in the 40th minute then Shela Mae Cadag made it a comfortable 3-1 lead shortly after the restart.
Substitute forward Alyssa Ube pulled another goal for the female booters from Diliman in the 78th but their fightback came too late.
The State U’s woes continued as it fell to their third loss in as many matches.
Meanwhile, Nicole Andaya struck the lone goal as defending champion De La Salle University bounced back at the expense of Far Eastern University, 1-0.
Andaya scored in the 49th to propel the Lady Booters back to the winning track following their narrow 0-1 loss to UST.
With its second win, La Salle tightened its grip of the second spot with six points.
The Lady Tamaraw Booters remained on a share of the third spot with idle Ateneo De Manila University as both teams now carry four markers and a plus one goal difference on a 1-1-1 win-draw-loss record.