UAAP 80 Men's Football: UST stuns Ateneo to return to the Finals

Santino Honasan on Apr 26, 2018 05:43 PM
UAAP 80 Men's Football: UST stuns Ateneo to return to Finals
UST stuns defending champions Ateneo de Manila to barge into the UAAP Season 80 Men's Football Finals

University of Santo Tomas ended Ateneo de Manila’s dreams of back-to-back championships as they eliminated the defending titleholders 1-0, in the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football Semifinals, Thursday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

After a tightly-contested first half that saw both sides go scoreless even after a number of good attempts, the third-seeded Growling Tigers began to control the pace in the second half, pushing their offense and getting the better shots on goal.

Still, neither side managed to produce a goal in the second 45 period, forcing an additional 30-minute extension period.

The stars aligned for UST in the second half, as after a saved attempt, Conrado Dimacali III found the ball and came up with a header in the 105th minute of action.

With their season on the line, the Blue Eagles had fifteen minutes to work with to try and come up with an equalizer, but UST turned up the defense and managed to shut down league-leading scorer and reigning MVP Jarvey Gayoso.

In the final minute of extra time, Ateneo had one more shot at pulling even with a free kick, but Koko Gaudiel’s attempt went straight to the crossbar and UST managed to clear the ball.

The Growling Tigers stormed the pitch in celebration as the referee sounded the final whistle to signify the end of the match.

"Sobrang saya na naka-abot kami ng finals, ilang beses namin pinangarap na makalaro kami ng finals,” said UST’s hero Dimacali after the match. “Since nung first year naka-abot na kami [ng semifinals] hanggang ngayon, sobrang blessed talaga kami na makapasok kami sa finals.”

Dimacali admitted that playing the defending champions in the semifinals, the same team that booted them out a year ago, came with a ton of pressure.

“Nakaka-pressure din, kasi defending champions sila, siyempre malakas sila, pero okay lang naman, pinilit talaga namin na makuha yung game, manalo for the finals.”

UST makes their way back to the finals for the first time since UAAP Season 74. 

The Growling Tigers now take on top-seeded University of The Philippines, who defeated De La Salle University in their semifinals matchup. 

The UP-UST Final is set for Thursday, May 3rd, 3:00 PM at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

 

You can catch the UAAP Season 80 Men’s Football Finals LIVE on ABS-CBN S+A channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD channel 166, LIGA channel 86, LIGA HD channel 183, and on LIVESTREAMING

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