With their fate not in their hands after their loss to the Adamson University Soaring Falcons, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Booters dug deep and found a way to keep their post-season hopes alive in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament.
UST earned a 2-1 victory over the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles, Thursday morning, at the FEU-Diliman turf in Quezon City.
The result increases UST’s tally in the standings to 20 points and a temporary hold on the fourth spot before De La Salle University competes later in the day. On the other hand, Ateneo’s suffered its first loss in the second round. The Blue Eagles remain at 2nd place with 23 points and are still not yet assured of a Final Four spot.
“Sabi nga last time, napahiya kami sa Ateneo, yung 5-0 (first round loss). So yun lang yung motivation kanina sa players na kung pwede bumawi naman tayo kasi yan yung ticket niyo sa top four in case may mangyari sa standings,” said Allado.
The Golden Booters managed to gain the lead just two minutes before the halftime break. UST won free kicks deep in the Ateneo half, which saw the likes of Dexter Benecio and Glen Ramos have a sniff at goal to no avail. Ramos then stepped up to take another one and converted it past Blue Eagles goalkeeper Gavin Rosario.
Ateneo then responded at the 73rd minute thanks to skipper Julian Roxas. UST goalie Zaldy Abraham Jr failed to properly deal with an attempt on his goal, which then allowed Roxas to rebound the ball into the net.
Roxas’ goal was a big setback for the Golden Booters as only a win would have kept them alive in the race to enter the post-season. With their backs against the wall, UST drove forward and found salvation at the 78th minute when substitute AJ Pasion scored from close range to secure all three points for the Espana-based school.
Both teams look to book their ticket to the Final Four in their finals assignments in the second round. Ateneo (23 points) goes up against University of the East on April 28, 2019, 1:30 PM while UST (20 points) faces National University on May 2, 2019, 3:30 PM.
ADMU XI: Rosario (GK), Poe, Roque, Rocha, Maniquis, Herrera, Mercado, Nacional, Roxas ©, Gayoso, Bana.
UST XI: Abraham (GK), Benecio, Caoyonan, De Castro (C), Dimacali, Fuchigami, Gumban, Orale, Ramos, Rivera, Villanueva.