Far Eastern University-Diliman put on a second half show to defeat De La Salle Zobel 3-1 and seal a first round sweep in the UAAP Season 85 High School Football Tournament, Sunday, at the UP Diliman Football Field.
The Baby Tamaraws relied on Christian Lajot’s neat finish in the 57th minute and Arvin Alayon’s tap-in in the 74th minute to seal the win.
“I think the boys responded well (after) going down,” said FEU coach Vince Santos. “We were able to come out on top. I think in the second half, we played much better than in the first half.”
Beforehand, it was the Junior Archers who drew first blood as Justin Concepcion scored in the third minute. That was as good as it got for La Salle, though, as Lajot equalized for FEU in the 33rd minute to set the tone for another comeback win.
“We’ll continue doing the same things (in the second round),” added Santos. “I think we’ll be much better having the experience already from the first round.”
During the day’s early kick-off, University of Santo Tomas got its first win of the season courtesy of a 6-1 drubbing of Ateneo High School.
Dominic Tom broke the deadlock in the seventh minute of the match to set the tone for the Junior Golden Booters. Kent John Bacolocos then doubled UST’s lead to give his side control of the match.
Down two goals, Ateneo was able to pull one back in the 25th minute. James del Valle finished off a swift counterattack to give the Blue Eagles a lifeline in the match.
That was as good as it got for Ateneo, though, as UST responded quickly. Rodrigo Marinas scored his first of the afternoon in the 43rd minute.
Kristien Elopre then scored a penalty in the 45+2 minute to give the Junior Golden Booters a resounding 4-1 cushion just before the halftime break.
Come the second half, UST sealed the deal as Marinas and Tom scored again in the 47th and 55th minutes respectively to win the game in emphatic fashion.
“First of all, siyempre, maganda tumaas yung confidence ng mga bata bago matapos yung round na ito,” said UST assistant coach David Basa.
“Pinu-push namin sila na yung intensity talaga throughout the 90 minutes, ma-sustain nila. Kasi yan yung weakness namin for the past two games. So in-address namin yun sa training. Hindi dapat malakas sa umpisa then humihina sa last 30 minutes. Dapat talaga ma-push nila yung sarili nila,” he added.
Tempers flared between both sides in the second half. Some of the Blue Eagles and Junior Golden Booters confronted each other after a foul was made in UST’s half.
Del Valle and UST’s Roland Ozoa and Byron Abela were given yellow cards for their roles in the fracas.
The UP Diliman Football Field will continue to host on Sunday, February 12, which will mark the start of the second round.