FEU concludes elims with close victory vs UE

FEU Advocate
May 02, 2024 15:56

Far Eastern University (FEU) Booters secured their spot in the semi-finals after an intense 3-2 victory against the University of the East (UE) Red Warriors in the University Athletics Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s football tournament held yesterday, May 2, at the UP Diliman Football Pitch in Quezon City.

In a post-game interview, Head Coach Alberto Besa expressed his thoughts on the team entering the final four.

“This victory puts us on top. We play the winner of this [Ateneo vs DLSU] game...We’re confident going into the final four. The team’s been very strong this year; there’s a few lapses in terms of mentality sometimes, a few games they’ve been very overconfident, but the final four, it’s knockout na [already]. There’s no room to be overconfident,” he said.

FEU Booter Martini Rey secures an early goal at the 8th minute after a series of flawlessly coordinated passes made by the Tamaraws. 

UE saw an offensive struggle as the match progressed shortly after how FEU matched this with conservative plays, setting the necessary tempo for the rest of the first half.

This tactic by the Tamaraws was deemed effective, as the Red Warriors eventually scrambled after an attacking transition goal spearheaded by FEU’s Selwyn Mamon at the 44th minute, sealing the first half at two-nil. 

It was not long, however, until the Morayta-based squad continuously lost their momentum leading to a penalty shootout by UE’s Nikko Palacio during the 85th minute, putting them at 1-2. 

The red-and-white squad were quick to pick up the pace and took advantage of the green-and-gold strikers’ overconfidence, resulting in an unsuspected and subtle goal by Keith Hermoso at the 90+ minute.

Coach Besa then explained the series of events that took place in the second half that almost put the match in a draw.

“Our defense was a bit overworked, so we were going to relax and play low. But also the mentality of the players in the midfield, I think because they were being careful of the yellow cards. We were already up 2-0, but you saw they lost the ball, very unforceful errors; they got careless. But I think it stems from being overconfident,” he shared. 

UE’s Joniel Pamati-an ended the tie between the two eastern universities with an own goal (OG) just at the 90th minute with added time.

FEU concludes the elimination round with 28 points at the top of the standings. They finished with a 9-1-2 win-draw-loss record, and will wait out the remaining elimination game to determine their opponent on Thursday, May 9, at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Manila. 

-Kyle Beltran

(Photo by Alyssa Andrea Quiogue/FEU Advocate)