MARCO Salud provided the cool finish as Ateneo de Manila University secured a 1-1 draw against University of the East in the UAAP Season 85 Men’s Football Tournament, Sunday night at the UP Diliman Football Field.
With the Blue Eagles down a goal, the Ateneo High School alumnus headed the ball home off a set-piece in the 55th minute to level the match for his team. Salud’s second half goal brought Ateneo back into the game after they initially conceded in the first half.
Eldrin Madrid scored a spectacular goal to break the deadlock for the Red Warriors eight minutes into the game. It was Madrid’s second goal of the tournament.
“Unacceptable lang talaga yung start,” lamented Ateneo mentor JP Merida. “Talagang inside 10 minutes, we conceded so yung slow approach again. But, overall naman, the players performed so hindi lang na-capitalize ang mga chances. I think yun yung kailangan namin i-work on looking forward to our next game.”
Tensions flared between both sides with 20 minutes left to play. A scuffle broke out between both sets of players. Ateneo’s Jet Gabriel Dela Cruz and UE duo Nur-Muamar Modin and Kian James Lauriano were given yellow cards for their roles in the incident.
The two teams had chances to steal all three points right at the death but their defenses led by goalkeepers Artuz Cezar of Ateneo and Lance Bencio of UE repelled all of the shots that went their way.
“To be honest, I’m a bit disappointed kasi kami yung nakalamang nung una. Pero, I commend yung effort ng Ateneo. Actually, we barely survived nung first half last minutes. Kahit nung second half, ang dami din talaga nilang attempts. I’m just happy na hindi sila nakakuha ng mas malaking points,” said UE coach Fitch Arboleda.
Ateneo XI: Cezar (GK), Lopez, Salud, Dela Cruz, Cariño, Maquiling, Cordero, Mercado (C), Lopez, Abaa, Fernandez.
UE XI: Bencio (GK), Palacio, Marin, Brobbey, Madrid, Inguito, Gatilao, Ang, Abarca, Adonis, Modin.