The College of Saint Benilde (CSB) outplayed defending champion San Beda College (SBC), 1-0, in its first game in the second round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Season 91 Football Tournament at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium late Tuesday.
The match started with San Beda aggressively blasting through the defense of Saint Benilde.
CSB attempted to reverse the situation before the break with a close shot from their frontline but failed as the two squads entered halftime in a goal-less deadlock.
At the start of the second half, the Green-and-Black booters finally broke the deadlock with a goal courtesy of Valentino Calvo in the 48th minute.
San Beda deployed fresh legs but Saint Benilde’s airtight defense foiled their attacks.
With regulation time coming to an end, San Beda made a desperate shot off a free kick which was deflected by a Saint Benilde keeper.
“It was a tactical decision to slow down the pace in the first half to bring the game until the final minutes of the match because San Beda really has the edge over us in the number of players,” CSB head coach Marlon Maro said in an interview with The Manila Times.
He also stressed that it is always an honor to win against the defending champions while reiterating that they only relied on a defensive lapse to book the win against San Beda.
“It was a lucky break. There was a defensive lapse so we capitalized on it and adjusted our defense [after the goal of Calvo],” he added.
In the first game, Arellano University (AU) extended their win streak to seven games as they trounced the Lyceum of the Philippine University (LPU), 3-0.
AU’s Patrick Bernarte scored at the 17th minute followed by another goal by Roberto Corsame briefly before the break as their side took a 2-0 lead at halftime.
Arellano, through a conversion by Charles Gamutan in the 88th minute, continued their unbeaten run with a one-sided victory against Lyceum.
AU head coach Ravelo Saluria attributed the win to his wards’ intense preparation leading to the match.
“We still can’t say that we will win [the championship] because the competition in the first round was close but we will work hard to improve our game,” he said.