A late Brian Jumo II goal cancelled Jinggoy Valmayor’s first half strike to finish Adamson’s UAAP Season 77 campaign with good vibes after their 1-1 stalemate earlier this afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field.
Adamson got the ball rolling in the sixth minute when Khristian Melliza launched a shot that was saved by Micah Alampay. UP had more of the ball and their dominance surfaced in the latter minutes. Soheil Bidar sent a couple of consecutive crosses to Rogie Maglinas but Adamson keeper Carl Viray deciphered Maglinas’ intentions. At the 13th minute, Niño Muros connected with Valmayor who returned it to the midfielder whose attempt was kept out by Viray. UP controlled the game’s pace from then on but a lapse on defense by Lou Rafanan almost presented Bless Jumo I with a clean look on goal, but the young forward reacted slower than UP’s back line.
The flurry of opportunities for UP started with Valmayor 15 minutes in. The striker misfired from close range after receiving Rafanan’s pass from the byline. Four minutes later, Ryan Fermin blasted his shot over the goal. Then, Bidar overshot inside the 20th minute mark. The Falcons’ resistance was eventually broken down 18 minutes before halftime. Valmayor was left wide open on the right hand side of the box, giving the star striker an easy way to put his team ahead.
UP’s advantage was almost doubled when Fermin robbed Goldwyn Espina on the Maroons’ left flank. With teammates in the box, Fermin drilled a cross but Jackson Ramos towered over everyone else and cleared the ball from play. It was the last threatening sequence of the Maroons in the first half as the trailing Falcons looked for an equalizer. Ten minutes before the break, Jumo I’s nifty ball caused a scramble for the ball in the edge of the box, eventually finding teammate Gerald Etis whose attempt was nowhere near Alampay and the goal. Moments after, Jumo II was fouled by Feb Baya just outside the box. Cyril Orcine, however, wasted the free kick by hitting off target. Just before halftime, Jumo I sent a pass intended for twin brother Jumo II but the latter lacked pace to meet the ball. UP led at halftime by a goal to nil.
In the second half, UP regained the rhythm for good. The Maroons pummeled Adamson with several shots. At the 53rd minute, a UP goal was disallowed. Bidar’s shot looked to roll into the goal but Fermin assured the ball ended up in the back of the net. It would have counted had Fermin been onside when Bidar was shooting. Before reaching the hour mark, Ian Clarino tested Viray twice from long range. In between those came a wild sequence which almost led to UP cushioning their lead. James Condat headed a shot that was cleared off the line by Marc de Guzman. Baya got to the rebound but Viray reacted well to keep the deficit within reach.
The game’s pace gradually toned down as the starters slowly exited the game. Unrelenting, the young Adamson team did all they could in getting something from the match. What they were longing for arrived just two minutes before normal time expired. Jumo II kept possession until he was within a good range of blasting it past Alampay, much to the delight of the Adamson players and supporters. It was enough for them to hold UP to a 1-1 draw.
Adamson coach Nolan Manito was happy with the way his players matured. “Ngayon, parang mas natututo sila sa mga mali nila,” he said while suggesting that had there been an extra round, the Falcons may have reached better placing. They finish the season in last place but with two points in their last two games, it’s a good way to look forward to next season.
Meanwhile, UP coach Anto Gonzales voiced out a huge concern he identified after the game. “I don’t see us competing in the semifinals. I don’t think we’re playing as a team right now. If things don’t change drastically, goodbye finals I think,” he frustratingly said. There is still a week for the Maroons- who finish the elimination round at third- to regroup. “I hope we can turn this around, but it’s a difficult thing especially if it’s something about their mentality,” Gonzales uttered.