UAAP Season 80 Menís Football: Ateneo comes back to soar past FEU
Ateneo ends the first round of UAAP Season 80 Men's Football riding a three-game winning streak.
In a rematch of last season’s finals, defending champions Ateneo de Manila University came back from a goal down to best Far Eastern University, 4-3 in a high-scoring UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football match, Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
With a third straight win and a shot at moving into second place in the standings within reach, the Blue Eagles struck first, courtesy of reigning MVP Jarvey Gayoso, who weaved his way through the FEU defenses to score in the 18th minute.
In the waning moments of the first half, FEU’s Gilbert Mendoza went on a personal two-goal blitz, scoring back-to-back goals in the second and third minutes of extra time to suddenly put the Tamaraws ahead, 2-1.
In the second half, Gayoso got on the board once again to get a brace of his own, sending a header in at the 66th minute to pull Ateneo even.
Seven minutes later, team captain Julian Roxas converted on the go-ahead goal, capitalizing off a scramble near the goal and tipping the ball in to make it 3-2 for the Blue Eagles.
With less than ten minutes left in the match, Mendoza shot the Tams back into the match with an 82nd-minute equalizer for his third goal of the match.
Unfortunately for Mendoza, his breakout performance would be spoiled, as an 87th minute header from Ryan Haosen once again gave Ateneo the lead and ultimately the 4-3 victory.
“Ang assesment ko regarding sa bad behavior ng team ay yung [nagiging] over-confident palagi, everytime na we lead, pero ang maganda lang dun, yung character nila after nung nangyari nung first half, hindi sila nag-give up,” said Ateneo head coach Jaypee Merida following the thrilling win. “I’m happy dun sa ginawa nila, pero of course, may mga moment na paulit-ulit lang, yung character then yung overconfidence, nag-aalternate lang sila.”
“We need to fix this, especially for the second round, hindi na pwede na ganito.” Merida added.
With the win, Ateneo improves to five wins and two losses for 15 points, good enough to finish the first round with the second seed.
FEU drops to one win, two draws and four losses for four points.