UAAP 81 Football: UE stuns Ateneo to grab first win of the season

Santino Honasan on Feb 21, 2019 03:23 PM
UAAP 81 Football: UE stuns Ateneo to grab first win
An early goal from Louie Polinag proved to be the difference as UE stunned Ateneo, 1-0 in the UAAP Season 81 Men's Football tournament

University of the East walked into enemy territory and came out with a big win after stunning Ateneo de Manila University, 1-0, in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament, Thursday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field inside the Ateneo de Manila University Campus in Katipunan.

Looking to bounce back after their 1-4 loss to Far Eastern University on opening day, the Red Warriors wasted little time in getting on the board as defender Louie Polinag helped UE strike first with a seventh-minute header off a well-placed free kick from Mark Lerion.

Ateneo star striker Jarvey Gayoso found the back of the net in the 13th minute but unfortunately for the side that was playing on home field, the strike was ruled offside.

UE continued to breach Ateneo’s defenses for the remainder of the first half, but could not connect on a second goal for a comfortable halftime lead.

In the second half, the Blue Eagles, who were playing without national team representatives AJ Arcilla and William Grierson, picked up the pace and was more aggressive on the offensive side as they desperately continued to search for an equalizer.

The Blue Eagles came within inches of pulling even when Miguel Roque’s cross found Rupert Baña near the right corner post. Unfortunately, Baña’s header went wide right and the ball sailed out of bounds.

Luca Alleje had one more golden chance for Ateneo, but UE goal keeper Frank Rieza continued to be a rock on the defensive end as he denied the conversion from Alleje and recorded his first clean sheet of the year.

“Nag-bounce back lang kami from the loss nung last game, yun yung mentality namin, and then knowing na wala si Grierson tsaka si AJ, so sabi ko kunin na namin yung chance na makapanalo nang hindi malayo dun sa mga ibang teams na nagkaron na ng panalo,” said UE head coach Fitch Florence Peter Arboleda.

Talking about the goal that proved to be the difference, Arboleda mentioned that it was something that was regularly drilled during practice.

“Talagang pina-practice namin yung set pieces na yun, so luckily pumasok,” he shared.

With the win, UE improves to one win and one loss for three points in the season.

Ateneo meanwhile falls in their season debut.

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