The FEU Tamaraws left it all out on the pitch to pull off a dominant 4-1 win over Ateneo to claim the Season 85 UAAP Men’s Football crown.
After an eight-year title drought, the FEU Tamaraws have earned the UAAP Men’s Football Throne.
The Tamaraws secured the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Football Championship earlier today at the Rizal Memorial Stadium by dominating the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Eagles. Securing the victory with a comfortable gap of 4-1 gave way to FEU’s 10th football championship.
It was Karl Absalon who opened the scoring with a fine finish 12 minutes into the match, giving FEU an early lead. Gerald Estores doubled their advantage in the 30th minute with a goal from close range.
Galen Fernandez gave the Blue Eagles hope in the 66th minute with a stunning volley. However, this would not be enough for Ateneo to stage a comeback.
Gio Pabualan padded on to FEU’s lead with four minutes left in regular time, and Geri Martini Rey sealed the victory with a goal in the 94th minute.
“It feels great, especially since we’ve missed football for the last few years,” said Vince Santos, who celebrated his first title as head coach of the Morayta school. “It’s such a rewarding feeling to rebuild the program almost from scratch and achieve victories this year for both the juniors and the men’s team.”
FEU’s win was even more satisfying as they had suffered a 1-0 defeat against Ateneo on March 16 and April 13.
The FEU Tamaraws did not only enjoy lifting the championship trophy, but their players also earned individual awards from the tournament.
Pabualan received the Best Midfielder and Best Striker awards, finishing as the league’s top scorer with eight goals this season. Absalon, who scored five goals, was named Rookie of the Year. Defender and captain Viejay Frigillano was named the Most Valuable Player for Season 85.
As for the Blue Eagles, Ateneo’s Artuz Cezar and Ildefonso Escobin were honored with the Best Goalkeeper and Best Defender awards, respectively, as they were among the main figures in keeping seven clean sheets this season.
Capping off the individual awards celebrations, the University of the East was also given the Fair Play Award for having no direct red cards and the fewest suspensions in the league.
FEU’s chase for football glory is not yet done, however, as the Lady Tamaraws will be facing the De La Salle University Lady Booters on Sunday in Rizal Memorial. While FEU will be fighting for their first title since 2015, DLSU will be eyeing a four-peat in the tournament.
Will FEU be able to dominate the UAAP football tournament this year with two titles?
Images courtesy of UAAP Media.