The UST Golden Booters fail to secure a finals slot after falling short in a penalty shootout against the UP Fighting Maroons, 8-7, in the UAAP Season 86 men's football semifinals at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Thursday, May 9. (Photo by Patrice Jerica A. Beltran/ The Varsitarian)

The UST Golden Booters’ quest for the UAAP Season 86 men’s football trophy fell short in an 8-7 penalty kick shootout loss to the UP Fighting Maroons in the semifinals on Thursday, May 9, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

After 120 minutes, UST goalkeeper Jose Abada made a crucial save on UP’s first penalty kick, correctly anticipating Jan Donato’s shot.

In the shootout’s fourth round, UP’s Alfonso Gonzales blocked Angelo Ramos’ attempt, leveling the score and extending the shootout to sudden death.

After Angelo Pagdanganan’s successful penalty in UP’s eighth round, UST sophomore Francis Vercide hit the bar with his kick, sealing the win for the Fighting Maroons.

Despite the loss, UST head coach Marjo Allado praised Jose Abada and goalscorer Tarshish Garciano for their heroics.

“Si Abada, he’s one of the best players. Andami niyang na-save na crucial attempts ng UP. And of course, yung comeback ni TJ coming from injury, pinilit lang namin siya. He contributed one goal and one penalty,” Allado told the Varsitarian.

“‘Yung team na ‘to is a group of rookies and they beat a lot of senior teams dito sa UAAP, tapos nakaabot pa dito sa semifinals,” he added.

UST had early opportunities in the first half, with Kyler Escobar’s low-driven shot saved by Gonzalez.

Just before halftime, a corner kick in the 44th minute found UP’s Francis Tacardon, who swiftly turned and shot between the legs of Abada to give the Fighting Maroons a 1-0 lead.

The Golden Booters equalized when substitute Tarshish Garciano, who started on the bench due to a knee injury, tapped in a loose ball after a save by UP’s Gonzales in the 57th minute.

UP’s Liam Lampayan missed two chances, hitting the crossbar with a header in the 69th minute and having a subsequent volley saved by Abada in the 70th minute.

A potential game-winner for UP was denied by Abada in the 89th minute after saving Emilio Bongolan’s close-range effort.

In the 120th minute, UST’s Jan Baito was shown a red card for a harsh challenge on Vincent Parpan. with reports from Patrice Jerica A. Beltran