In a game that featured two of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament’s post-season contenders, it was interestingly the team with less possession but more precision ended up with the victory.
Under the glaring Sunday afternoon heat, the Far Eastern University Tamaraws survived the University of the Philippines Fighting Maroons’ bombardment as they prevailed 2-1 after 90 minutes.
“I think our team, even if we’re tired, we tried to be more patient and to play together. That’s why we won, so I’m happy,” said FEU coach Park Bo Bae.
The Fighting Maroons had most of the possession in the first halfm but it was the Tamaraws who had more substance. FEU gained the lead after just two minutes of play when Anthony Decena dribbled past the UP defense to score past goalie Harel Dayan.
Park Bo Bae’s men went close to doubling their advantage when Harold Alcoresa was unmarked in a set-piece, only for his cheeky flick to hit the post.
When the game restarted in the second half, the Fighting Maroons were more aggressive and pressed the Tamaraws with more intensity. UP substitute striker Anton Guarina found himself through on goal, but good defense by FEU defender Andrei Forrosuelo prevented him from getting the equalizer.
By his lofty standards, JB Borlongan had a frustrating afternoon as everything he did was well cut out by the Tamaraws backline. He did have an opportunity to stamp his authority on the contest with a free kick, only for his attempt to hit the crossbar.
In the end, defensive errors became the Fighting Maroons’ undoing. A faulty backpass let FEU forward Geri Rey through on goal, but his shot hit the crossbar with the back of the net at his mercy.
The Tamaraws finally got their second goal of the game in the 82nd minute thanks to substitute Jermi Darapan, who unleashed a long-range strike that Dayan failed to properly take care off.
Facing a two-goal deficit, the Fighting Maroons received a lifeline courtesy of Minsu Kim’s own goal six minutes from time. But it was FEU’s day to savor, as the Tamaraws held on for all three points.
Both schools’ next games shall be on March 14, 2019, at FEU-Diliman. UP (6 points) face the University of Santo Tomas at 1:00 PM. On the other hand, FEU (11 points) play the Adamson University soon after at 3:00 PM.
FEU XI: Alcoresa, Canonigo, Decena, Forrosuero, Frigillano, Kim, Monterona, Parac (GK), Saldivar (C), Salilig.
UP XI: Abraham, Borlongan, Bugayong, Clarino (C), Dayan (GK), Lapas, Magdato, Monteverde, Saavedra, Sanciangco, Santos.
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