The Adamson University Soaring Falcons may be out of contention from the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament post-season, but they might have just changed its overall complexion.
Arvin Soliman’s team ended a five-game funk to win 1-0, and put a strong dent in the University of Santo Tomas Golden Booters’ Final Four objectives, Sunday afternoon at the FEU-Diliman turf.
The result was Adamson’s second win this season. They raise their points tally to 11, their highest-ever since the school returned in Season 77.
“Sobrang saya ko as a head coach of this team. For me, nakita natin yung development ng team na ito from the past seasons, and we are starting to reprogram yung Adamson football program,” said the first-year mentor. “Nag-start kami ngayon and hopefully next season, magtuloy-tuloy na.”
Following a goalless first half, the Soaring Falcons took the lead in the most incredible of ways. UST believed they had broken the deadlock when a scramble ensued in the Adamson box and the Golden Booters thought they put the ball at the back of the net.
However, officials adjudged that Soliman’s men had cleared the ball off the goal line. Adamson then quickly broke through for the counterattack. Rey Poncardas saw himself one-on-one with UST goalie Zaldy Abraham, Jr. and the Adamsonian finished calmly in the 64th minute.
UST players were incensed with the turn of events. Veterans Abraham and Steven Anotado rushed to tell off the linesman, but to no avail.
The game continued, and it was Adamson who had all the momentum. Allen Lozano and Jusuel Pilarca had sniffs at goal but they shot wide off the mark. Lozano then had another crack, but Abraham easily caught his attempt.
The Golden Booters tried to salvage something from this game, but Anotado, Conrado Dimacali III, AJ Pasion, and skipper Ian De Castro failed to muster a shot against Soaring Falcons goalie Carl Viray.
Deep in stoppage time, UST had a set-piece that threatened to spoil Adamson’s hard work. The ball fell to Dexter Benecio but he headed painfully over the bar.
UST (17 points) shall next face league leaders Ateneo de Manila University at 9:00 AM. Meanwhile, Adamson (11 points) go up against University of the East afterwards at 3:30 PM. FEU-Diliman will host both games on April 25, 2019.
UST XI: Abraham (GK), Anotado, Benecio, De Castro ©, Dimacali, Fuchigami, Gumban, Menares, Rafol, Rivera, Villanueva.
AdU XI: Bardaje, Beltran, Dela Cruz, Jumo I, Jumo II, Lozano, Magpusao, Poncardas, Rabino, Ramos, Viray (GK, C)