Ateneo de Manila University demonstrated why it is a force to be reckoned with in the UAAP Season 82 Men’s Football Tournament.
The defending champions enjoyed a 6-1 drubbing of University of Santo Tomas, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
Ateneo captain Nino Herrera scored twice — a long-range strike and a penalty — in the 10th and 27th minutes respectively, to guide the Blue Eagles towards victory.
“Ang maganda lang dun, ‘yung long shot ni Nino, ‘yun ‘yung nag-start. So medyo tumaas ‘yung motivation, tumaas ‘yung tempo. And regarding sa scoring, naging composed (ang mga player) especially ‘pag nandun sa attacking third,” said Ateneo mentor Jay Pee Merida.
Besides Herrera, Mark Nacional, Luca Alleje, Sam Lim and Jabez Setters got on the scoresheet.
Nacional finished a fine passing sequence and tapped the ball into the net in the 27th minute. Alleje then converted from outside the box at the 40th minute. Later on, Lim headed home at the 43rd minute, while Setters capped off the goal-fest at the 75th minute.
With the game virtually lost before the final whistle, the Tigers pushed themselves to find some consolation. The found it in the shape of Stephen Marasigan’s header off a free kick in the 69th minute.
The result elevates Ateneo’s points tally to 4. On the other hand, Marjo Allado’s team still has 3 after two games.
“Going from that game kanina, ‘yung finishing namin medyo hindi siya consistent. Pero buti na lang during the game, nakuha namin ‘yung kailangan namin mangyari sa (mga) game,” added Merida.
The two schools next play on Thursday, March 20, at the same venue. UST plays University of the East first at 1:30 PM. Ateneo then competes against Far Eastern University afterward at 6:30 PM.