The Far Eastern University Tamaraws ended their two-game losing streak by upending the University of the East Red Warriors, 5-1, Thursday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field. With this, the Tamaraws collect their second win of the campaign to move into fourth place with 8 points to their tally.
It was a comfortable game for FEU, who held most of the possession throughout the encounter. The reputable Tamaraw frontline charged as soon as the fifth minute, with Eric Ben Giganto missing the target from close range. Nicolas Ferrer and Rico Andes soon followed, but their efforts were also unsuccessful in forcing a save from UE goalkeeper Lendon Clores. The Tamaraws’ perseverance to break the deadlock eventually paid off in the 18th minute. Rookie Dave Deloso made the most of his first shot on goal coming from a pass strung by Giganto.
With the opening goal having finally arrived, the floodgates were expected to open. However, the UE defense put on a disciplined performance at the back to fend off the feisty Tamaraws. Chances became fewer for FEU and it nearly cost them their lead, had Mar Diano put away his rare opportunity 10 minutes before half time. The UE forward broke away from the defense but surrendered the ball to RJ Joyel quite easily as he approached the Tamaraws’ box.
With UE knocking on the door, the Tamaraws were relieved when Val Jurao got himself on the scoresheet at the 41st minute. The winger headed a wonderfully-hit cross by Reymart Cubon. It proved to be the last clear chance of the half, as FEU went to the break holding a two-goal lead.
Wanting to make the points safe, the Tamaraws bagged their third, six minutes after half time. Dominique Canonigo produced a moment of magic when he dribbled the ball into the box before converting from a tight angle. At 3-0, the game was pretty much done. Yet the Tamaraws pushed for more in order to make amends for their poor performance in their past two games. Jurao completed his brace a minute after the hour mark as he got on the end of a looping pass made by Deloso.
Despite the luxury of a four-goal lead, FEU played as if the score were still level. They conjured up plenty of half-chances, but nothing really materialized from their plays. Instead, the fifth goal came from Clores. Failing to gather the ball from a corner, the UE goalkeeper allowed Cubon to slot the ball through with ease.
Cruising towards their second win, the Tamaraws were caught off guard seven minutes before the match ended. Bon Opeña was able to find Diano with a fine through pass. Upon collecting the ball, Diano coolly took his time to place a magnificent finish past Joyel. It was a momentous occasion for UE as they finally broke their scoring slump this season. But it was not enough to celebrate as they fell 5-1 losers on the day against superior opponents.
Speaking on behalf of Master Kim Chul-Su, FEU program director Vince Santos is not fully convinced of the Tamaraws’ performance. “We’re nowhere near where we want to be still. The result ofthe game doesn’t really reflect how we want the team to be playing,” he elaborated. This could be regarded as no more than a morale-booster for the Tamaraws, who went to this game following two backbreaking losses to the De La Salle University and University of Santo Tomas.
FEU will look to end their first round on a high when they play against Adamson University at the McKinley Hill Stadium on Sunday, 1PM. As for the Red Warriors, they will square off against the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field on Thursday, 9AM.