The Far Eastern University Tamaraws defeated the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles 5-2 in today’s (February 13, 2016) game at the McKinley Hill Stadium in Taguig City. Goals from rookie Rico Andes, Val Jurao, Eric Giganto, and Paolo Bugas handed the Tamaraws their first win in the UAAP Season 78 Men’s Football Tournament. On the other hand, Javier Gayoso scored twice for the Blue Eagles.
It was a strong performance for the Tamaraws in the first half as they had multiple opportunities to score. They had an attempt right from the start and it only took the 6th minute for them to breakthrough. Andes caught Ateneo’s back three late and scored after his solo run.
Ateneo kept on pushing their attack but their final ball was lacking. Andes had another attempt on goal but his shot was saved by Ateneo goalkeeper Jose Oracion. Blue Eagle rookie Gayoso was through on goal but Tamaraws goalkeeper Ray Joyel successfully pre-empted him. It was Gayoso who threatened once again for the Blue Eagles but Joyel foiled him.
FEU had another chance which they converted at the 30th minute. Jurao entered Ateneo’s penalty area and shot on goal, upon which Oracion couldn’t have done anything about it. FEU 2 – 0 Ateneo.
The Tamaraws had another chance on goal via a direct free kick but Oracion saved it. The Blue Eagles finally had attempts on goal from the set pieces. Twice Mikko Mabanag delivered but Jeremiah Rocha failed to test Joyel at both times.
Oracion was called to action at the end of the first half when he saved a a shot from Bugas. FEU led 2-0 over Ateneo at the half.
Just two minutes into the second half, FEU increased their lead to 3-0 courtesy of a Bugas tap-in. Andes had another opportunity to score but his shot went wide. Ateneo had a chance of their own when Mabanag’s corner was met by Xavier Alcuaz but the latter’s shot didn’t even force Joyel into action.
The Blue Eagles finally scored at the 64th minute. After multiple attempts on goal, Gayoso finally got what he deserved when his shot went inside the lower right part of the FEU goal. FEU 3 – Ateneo 1.
Ateneo pushed for a second goal but their persistence led to an FEU counterattack. Andes was through on and he made no mistake to clinch his second goal of the game at the 72nd minute. Undeterred, the Blue Eagles immediately responded courtesy of Gayoso again who was assisted by Mabanag at the 73rd minute. FEU 4 – Ateneo 2.
Giganto and Mabanag had chances to score for FEU and Ateneo respectively but it was the former who recorded his name on the scorers’ sheet when his free kick entered the upper right corner of Oracion’s goal at the 83rd minute. The final score was FEU 5 – 2 Ateneo.
The next game for FEU will be against NU on Thursday (February 18, 2016, 3:00PM) at the Moro Lorenzo Field in Ateneo. Meanwhile for Ateneo, they face Adamson University on Saturday (February 20, 2016, 7:00PM) at the McKinley Hill Stadium.
For FEU assistant coach Dexter Chio, the Tamaraws coordinated their attack better. “Last time parang nanibago din sa game. Ayun nag focus kami sa training namin this week para makuha yung teamwork namin tsaka communication sa strikers, midfield.”