UAAP 81 Football: UP, UST battle to a draw in Finals rematch

Santino Honasan on Mar 14, 2019 04:16 PM
UAAP 81 Football: UP, UST battle to a draw in Finals rematch
UP and UST battle to a 1-1 draw in a rematch of last season's finals

In a rematch of last season's finals, defending champions University of the Philippines and runners-up University of Santo Tomas battled to a 1-1 draw to split points in the UAAP Season 81 Men's Football Tournament, Thursday afternoon at the FEU Diliman Football Field. 

The match was tightly contested up until early in the second half, when Daniel Saavedra gave the Fighting Maroons the 1-0 lead in the 50th minute, beating keeper with a light tip to score the goal 

The UP lead would not last for long however, as striker Steven Anotado, who came in as a substitute in the second half, connected on a tip of his own to help pull the Growling Tigers even just four minutes later. 

The rest of the match would be a physical battle, and the Growling Tigers came close to breaking the deadlock in the very last minute of regulation with a scramble taking place just mere inches from the UP goal before the Fighting Maroons were able to punch the ball away. 

At the end of 90 minutes plus four additional minutes of injury time, the score stood at one goal apiece for last year's Finals protagonists. 

UST moves to two wins, four draws, and one loss for ten points to close out the first round of the men's tournament. 

"Overall sa game, performance-wise ng mga players dito, satisfied naman kami. I think we have to address some issues lang like substitution, kasi instead na mag-change ka ng tempo, bumagal siya eh, yun lang naman," said UST head coach Marjo Allado. 

"At least naka-draw, so yung confidence level [ng mga players], yung morale, tataas na yan for the second round," he added. 

UP, meanwhile, snaps a two-match losing skid and moves to two wins, one draw, and two losses for seven points in the season. 

While they were held to a stalemate, UP head coach Anto Gonzales sees the draw as a step in the right direction. 

"I thought this was an improvement from the last match. We showed more drive, UST is a physically strong squad and they're good in aerial challenges, and they practically won a lot of balls and they really took advantage of their strengths, but credit to the boys, fighting UST toe-to-toe even if we were the less physical squad," said Gonzales. 

"One of the objectives was to not let the opponent score first, because three of our four games, the opponent scored first. We wanted to be the ones to score first, unfortunately we had a lapse in defense that allowed to opponent to score," Gonzales added. 

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