The FEU Tamaraws did not win for the first time in the UAAP Season 77 men’s football tournament today at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Quezon City after they were held to a 1-1 draw against perennial favorites DLSU.
Plenty of the best chances came early in the game. In the 3rd minute, Val Jurao skied his attempt narrowly over the bar. Christian Zubiri had the game’s first shot on target which was easily collected by Rey Joyel. Jose Montelibano had a couple of openings but elected to test his luck from long range while his second opportunity, in which he looked to pick out a teammate with a decisive pass, was halted by the alert Joyel.
FEU had its fair share of chances in the game’s first 25 minutes. Jesus Melliza’s free kick soared above the goal and Paeng de Guzman had to beat Eric Giganto for the ball to be cleared. Michael Menzi’s header was just inches wide of ending up in the back of the net. La Salle’s Zubiri also saw his shot saved by Joyel before the score underwent its first change.
Nicolas Ferrer put his team in front with a clinical strike that pierced through the DLSU defense in the 26th minute. The Tamaraws held the only lead of the game, which unfortunately for them, lasted for just five minutes. Four minutes after FEU took the lead, Nathan Alquiros delivered a nifty through ball to the rushing Zubiri who broke free from his defender. The rookie forward was in a good position to score against Joyel who gave away a penalty with a foul on Zubiri inside the box. Designated penalty taker Alquiros converted by sending Joyel the wrong way to restore parity in the game.
La Salle had more of the ball in the second half but FEU was equally dangerous whenever they obtained possession. The best opportunities to score for both teams came after the hour mark. Sixteen minutes after the restart, FEU’s triumvirate of Paolo Bugas, Melliza and Giganto almost connected for a breakthrough goal had it not been for a decisive intervention by the La Salle back line. As for La Salle, newcomer Zubiri almost capped his first start in the league with a winning goal. The young forward broke free of Joshua Mulero but blasted his shot from close distance way above the target 21 minutes before end of the 90.
With the result, La Salle moves up to second place with five points, just two behind the Tamaraws who remain in pole position.