JUMBANG Guinabang produced the late winner as Arellano University nipped College of Saint Benilde, 2-1, in extra time to move on the cusp of snaring its second NCAA seniors football title at the Rizal Memorial Stadium late Friday.
With the game seemed headed into penalties, Guinabang slotted the 117th minute goal from a Patrick Bernarte assist that gave the Chiefs a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.
That came moments after the Blazers blew their chance to grab the upperhand as Nico Cruz’s shot at the goal sailed just above the crossbar.
“Puso lang talaga nung mga bata,” said coach Ravelo Saluria, as Arellano hopes to reclaim the crown it won two seasons ago.
The Chiefs go for the jugular in Game 2 slated tomorrow at the same Malate venue.
Ably filling in the void left by suspended striker Roberto Corsame Jr., Guinabang actually netted a brace, as the Season 91 MVP opened the scoring in the third minute.
St. Benilde leveled when Daniel Lozio found the back of the net a minute later.
Charles Gamutan then put the Chiefs on top again in the 26th minute before the Blazers tied again with a Renz Tulayba strike four minutes later.
“Happy ako. Sinunod nung mga bata yung game plan lalo na nung first half,” said Saluria.
After a frenetic first half, the last 45 minutes of regulation was an epic struggle as Arellano and St. Benilde could not find the needed go-ahead goal, sending the game into extra time.
The Chiefs appeared to have lost steam with some players cramping until Guinabang delivered the biggest goal of the match.
In juniors’ action, Jimmar Castillo scored twice as San Beda turned back CSB-La Salle Greenhills, 2-1, to move on the verge of its second straight title and 17th overall.