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Jacob Liao heads twice as Ateneo Blue Eagles hand FEU first defeat


If there were still wounds after their loss to archrivals De La Salle Green Archers, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles showed no signs of them as they returned to winning ways in stunning fashion.

The Katipunan-based school showed they had no hangover from their anticlimactic first-round finale with a 4-1 win over the then-undefeated Far Eastern University Tamaraws to kickstart their UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament second round campaign on a high note, Thursday afternoon.

“I’m happy because of the character of my players because they showed great character in this game. From a big loss in the last game of the first round (against La Salle), yun yung question – kung paano ibabalik yung motivation ng mga players. I’m so happy dun sa pinakita nilang character today,” said Ateneo coach Jay Pee Merida.

The Blue Eagles withstood an early setback when Tamaraws midfielder Kim Minsu scored from close range in the 11th minute. Ateneo then responded through Jacob Liao’s header in the 29th minute and Rupert Bana’s fine finish seven minutes from the halftime break.

Needing to shake things up in the final third, Merida brought in star striker Jarvey Gayoso for Jabez Setters in the 62nd minute to provide more damage against the Tamaraws. The UAAP Season 79 MVP awardee then performed a fantastic chip in the 73rd minute to secure the win for Ateneo.

Merida’s men were not done yet, though, as Liao secured his brace five minutes after Gayoso’s goal with another header off a set-piece. It was Ateneo’s day to enjoy and they march on at the expense of the league leaders.

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FEU (15 points) and Ateneo (13 points) will next play on March 31, 2019, at the former’s Diliman campus. The Blue Eagles first face the Adamson Soaring Falcons at 9:00 AM; afterwards, the Tamaraws face the University of the East Red Warriors at 1:30 PM.


FEU XI: Canonigo, Darapan (GK), Decena, Forrosuelo, Frigillano, Kim, Pabualan, Rayos, Rey, Saldivar ©, Salilig.

ADMU XI: Arcilla (GK), Poe, Liao, Rocha, Maniquis, Herrera, Mercado, Nacional, Roxas ©, Setters, Bana.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces


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