Booters dominate to hand Blue Eagles’ first loss

FEU Advocate
March 07, 2024 15:14

By Andrei M. Barrantes

Far Eastern University (FEU) Booters prevailed in the first finals rematch against the Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Blue Eagles, 4-2, in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s football tourney today, March 7, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch in Quezon City.

Early scoring boosted the Booters’ offense with the fifth-minute penalty kick from Philippine Men’s National Team selectee Martini Rey converted on a penalty kick, 1-0.

It did not take long for the Katipunan-based team to respond. However, the sloppy FEU defense opened the field for AdMU’s Jose Lopez to create a quick goal.

In a post-game interview with FEU Advocate, head coach Alberto Besa expressed his dismay for the “heartless” first half.

“We were very disappointed in the first half, it seemed like they didn’t have any heart [put] into it. They weren’t playing well,” he said.

Fortunately, the Morayta-based defending champions corrected their course in the second half, led by two timely goals from Sherwin Basindanan and reigning rookie of the year Karl Absalon, his second goal in the tourney so far.

A 4-1 score would have been in the cards, which was halted after Rey’s missed penalty kick in the 84th minute.

The Blue Eagles, as hard as they were to put away, displayed their grit late in the final half with Ghanaian Kofi Agyei’s emphatic goal at the 86th minute breathing life back into the top-seeded Blue Eagles.

Rey spoke on the struggles they endured against AdMU, with the players and skill the entire roster had. 

Nag-struggle kami sa set pieces kasi ‘yun na nga, malalaki sila, andyan din si Kofi, and magagaling mag-deliver ng bola lahat ng players, so ‘yun ang pinakastruggle ng team,” he added.

In the added time, substitute booter MC Neniel secured the win in crunch time with a Khent Valenzuela-assisted silencer to secure the Tams’ second win.

The green-and-gold squad rose to a 2-0-1 win-draw-loss record to share third in the standings with University of the Philippines (UP) and University of Santo Tomas (UST) ahead of their Sunday matchup against University of the East (UE) on March 10 at the same venue.

(Photo by Zedrich Xylak Madrid/FEU Advocate)