Tue 28 March 2023

LONE GOAL MASTERS: Ateneo deals FEU first loss

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One goal at a time.

Defending champions Ateneo de Manila University reaffirmed its mastery of lone goal winners, repulsing erstwhile league leaders Far Eastern University (FEU), 1-0, in the penultimate match day of the UAAP men’s football tournament on Thursday at the University of the Philippines football stadium.

Forward Leo Maquiling goaled in the 49th minute off a running assist from Dov Cariño in a counterattacking play for the Blue Eagles’ lone goal of the game.

It was the third win of Ateneo in Season 85, all with a 1-0 score.

“We’re the defending champions, but we play one game at a time,” Ateneo coach JP Merida said after the game.

Despite the lone goal wins, Ateneo had several chances of upping their lead for this game, with shots on goal from Cariño, Galen Fernandez, and Kofi Agyei that were all saved by Tamaraw goalkeeper Jetrick Fabrigas.

“If you see the back four, they’re very organized, very disciplined. The midfield, they controlled the tempo. My frontline players are really good at the off ball run,” Merida explained.

FEU had chances to tie the game but the attacking runs of winger Sherwin Basindaran and forward Geri Martini Rey lacked quality against Ateneo’s backline.

It was FEU’s first loss of the season after winning three games and drawing two.

The Blue Eagles, meanwhile, jump to solo third place with three wins, a draw, and a loss.

“I’m very happy, these are important three points against the number one team in the league,” Merida concluded as his team will shoot for their fourth win to top the first round on Sunday against archrival De La Salle University.

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