A lethargic Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles squad found a way to break down an unyielding Adamson University Soaring Falcons for a 2-0 win in UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football Tournament action this Thursday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
“Para sa akin yung game na ito nakakafurstrate kasi siya. Hindi ko alam kung ano nangyari sa players ko kasi kung titignan ko talaga nandun naman yung preparation. After the UE game we had a break talaga pero hindi ko alam kung bakit ganito ang naging performance namin especially sa attacking third,” lamented Blue Eagles coach Jay Pee Merida
A goalless first period happened all thanks to Adamson goalkeeper Carl Viray. The veteran stopper performed some fine saves to deny Jarvey Gayoso and Roxas. It was all credit to Viray that the Blue Eagles were held at bay.
Adamson’s defiance carried on to the second half. Ateneo calmly played its game, though, and showed no signs of panic with the current state of affairs. The Soaring Falcons’ resistance finally broke down at the 61st minute.
Viray was a rock at the Adamson defense but he made two crucial mistakes which led to the goal. The Soaring Falcons’ goalie rushed out of his box too early and fouled Gayoso. Roxas then took the resulting free kick which Viray failed to handle properly.
Already a goal up, Ateneo was able to find the back of the net for a second time in stoppage time. Viray was once again the culprit as he mishandled Gayoso’s free kick which allowed James Haosen to tap the ball in. It was a sorry afternoon for Viray as he played both hero and villain for the Soaring Falcons.
Merida admitted that he felt his players became complacent in the game. “Ang laro ng Adamson talagang they performed talaga. We’re lucky lang talaga sa set-pieces kaya nakuha namin yung three points. Pero if I will rate this game, hindi siya win talaga.”
Ateneo will look to end the first round strongly against Far Eastern University at 1:30 PM while Adamson shall face University of the East afterwards at 4:00 PM. Rizal Memorial will host both games on March 4.