The University of the Philippines are almost back where they belong.
The Fighting Maroons overturned a one-goal deficit to win 2-1 over the Far Eastern University Tamaraws, Sunday afternoon, at the latter’s Diliman campus.
The result elevates UP to 3rd place with 23 points. They have secured at least a playoff match for a Final Four ticket in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament.
On the other hand, FEU are already in the post-season. The Morayta-based school is currently in 2nd place in the standings with 24 points.
“Again, we dug deep. There’s really no question about the character of these boys. They strive to adversity but, I mean, other teams won’t allow a comeback like that. We really have to manage how we start games and I think it’s a matter of having the right mindset,” said UP mentor Anto Gonzales.
The Tamaraws first found the back of the net just five minutes into the contest. Geri Rey headed past Fighting Maroons goalie Anton Yared to give his side an early lead.
State U then sought a leveler as quickly as possible. UP attacking midfielder Kyle Magdato was through on goal, only for Tamaraws goalkeeper Dave Parac to deny him with a fine save. Captain Kintaro Miyagi also had sniffs at goal, but he failed to hit the target when he found space to shoot.
Come the second half, State U raised the pressure and produced two goals to turn the game upside down. Veteran winger JB Borlongan finished from close range six minutes after the restart, while Miyagi’s header won the Fighting Maroons all three points in the 68th minute.
“Kintaro’s been working really hard in the training sessions. He’s been pushing the spirits of the team. He deserved his goal. He’s been playing through injury, but he’s been fighting very hard so I give a lot of credit to King Miyagi,” added the former national team player.
Both schools end their elimination round campaigns on May 2, 2019, at the same venue. UP (23 points) play the University of the East at 9:00 AM. Meanwhile, FEU (24 points) compete against the De La Salle University at 1:30 PM.
UP XI: Abraham, Borlongan, Clarino, Facturanan, Lapas, Magdato, Miyagi ©, Saavedra, Sanciangco, Togores, Yared (GK).
FEU XI: Alcoresa, Canonigo, Forrosuelo, Frigillano, Kim, Monterona, Pabualan, Parac (GK), Rey, Saldivar (C), Salilig.