UAAP season 80 Men’s Football: UP locks up top seed after draw with Ateneo
Santino Honasan on Apr 19, 2018 07:23 PM
Top-two seeds UP and Ateneo battled to a thrilling 2-2 draw in the final match of the UAAP Season 80 Men's Football Elimination Round
University of the Philippines locked up the top seed to end the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football elimination round after figuring in a 2-2 draw with defending champions Ateneo de Manila, Thursday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Chasing the top seed, the Blue Eagles jumped to an early lead, thanks to a header off a set piece from Ryan Haosen in the 17th minute.
The Ateneo lead didn’t last too long however, as a Julian Roxas foul inside the box awarded the Fighting Maroons a penalty.
Skipper Ian Clarino calmly drained the penalty to help UP pull even in the 24th minute.
In the second half, rookie sensation Fidel Tacardon sent the UP faithful in attendance to a frenzy after giving the Maroons the lead with a fantastic strike inside the box coming from a Dane Saavedra assist.
With around three minutes left to play, it looked as if UP was on its way to topping Ateneo for a second time in Season 80, but a late free kick for the Blue Eagles led to a scramble near the goal, which resulted in a Joshua Laud equalizer in the 87th minute.
With an additional four minutes added to extra time, the both sides tried to break the deadlock, but ultimately settled for a 2-2 draw to end the regular season.
“The objective for today’s game was to bring us confidence coming to the semifinals, that’s the main objective, and we also want to cover the smallest details. If we cover the smaller details and we win the individual battles, the attacking, the defending, the transition, that will give us the added push moving forward.” said UP Assistant Coach Popoy Clarino after the match.
“Sa situation na yun, I’m happy talaga, nakita ko yung attitude ng team, nag-set talaga sila ng tempo ng game, yun yung gusto [namin], talagang lalaban ‘to sa UP.” said Ateneo Head Coach Jayepee Merida. “Sobrang saya ko, unexpected na playing against UP, ganun yung performance namin even without Jarvey, without Rocha, without Ceniza and Herrera, for me it’s a good result even if we didn’t get the three points.”
The season ending matchup was without a number of key names for both sides, as UP’s King Miyagi was suspended due to cards accumulation, while Ateneo opted to sit Jarvey Gayoso, Jayrah Rocha, Enzo Ceniza, and Nino Herrera out as a precautionary measure due to all the mentioned having been booked with a yellow card in their previous matches.
With the draw, UP ends Season 80 with ten wins, four draws, and no losses for 34 points and the top seed.
Ateneo finishes in the second seed with ten wins, two draws, and two losses for 32 points.
With playoff positioning now set, the Final Four fixtures will be #1 UP taking on #4 DLSU, while #2 Ateneo takes on #3 UST in a rematch of the Season 79 Semifinals.
The semifinals takes place on Thursday, April 26th at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The Finals happens a week after, May 3rd, also at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The Semis and the Finals can be seen LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD channel 166, LIGA channel 86, LIGA HD channel 183, and on LIVESTREAM.