Ateneo, FEU draw in action-packed matchup

Santino Honasan on Mar 09, 2017 08:03 PM
Ateneo, FEU draw in action-packed matchup
Ateneo's Rupert Baña and FEU's Rico Andes battle for the ball in UAAP men's football action.

A full ninety minutes, plus longer-than-usual injury time wasn't enough for the league's top two teams to decide a winner, as Ateneo de Manila and Far Eastern University battled to a scoreless draw to end the first half of UAAP Season 79 men's football action, Thursday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field. 

Coming into the match as the only unbeaten teams in the tournament, Ateneo played without star sophomore Jarvey Gayoso, while FEU's senior midfielder Paolo Bugas wasn't at a hundred percent. 

Gayoso's absence was evident in the first half of play, as Ateneo's usual attacking style was stifled by the steady defense of the Tamaraws. 

The Diliman-based booters were also controlling the pace during the first 45 minutes, as they managed to create more shots, albiet not being able to convert. 

It was a different story in the second half of play, as both teams turned up the intensity, with Ateneo being more aggressive on the offensive end courtesy of close attempts from skipper Carlo Liay and Rookie of the Year candidate Sam Lim. 

The closest that anyone got to scoring a goal however, was FEU's Dave Deloso, who recieved a perfect cross from Bugas, only to be denied by Blue Eagles keeper AJ Arcilla. 

Before the match was over however Deloso woud find himself involved in another significant play. This time around, Deloso was on the wrong end of a knee from Arcilla, who was clearing the ball. 

The key sophomore stayed down for an extended period of time, before having to be stretchered off the pitch and ambulanced to a nearby medical faciity. 

With an additional four minutes added to injury time, both teams pushed hard for an opportunity at pulling out a deciding goal, with Lim getting one more good look before getting stopped by FEU keeper RJ Joyel. 

At the end, Ateneo and FEU were both unable to breach the goal lines for a scoreless draw. 

"Unang-unang nakita ko sa players ko, they are not here for the three points," said Ateneo head coach JP Merida, who took a different tone from the usual post-game praise for his players. "Madaming fancy na ginagawa, so siguro I need to accept that one point, at least nag-add kami sa points namin, so okay lang." 

"We expected to have a tough match, I think that's what we got today," said FEU head coach Vince Santos. Ateneo's very organized this season, they also have threat on the counter, so I just wish we could have done better with our chances." 

After the first round, Ateneo remains at the top of the standings with six wins and one draw for 19 points, while FEU comes in at second with four wins and three draws for 15 points. 

UP comes in at third place with four wins, two draws, and one loss for 14 points, while rounding out the top four after the first half of the season is NU with three wins, one draw, and three losses for ten points. 

UST falls to fifth place with two wins, one draw, and four losses for seven points, while UE and DLSU are tied with one win, two draws, and four losses for five points each. At the bottom of the standings is Adamson with one win and six losses for three points. 

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