Far Eastern University (FEU) held top squad Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) to a scoreless draw in their last match in the first round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Football Tournament at the Moro Lorenzo Field on Thursday.
The Tamaraws, who finished the initial phase of games at the No. 2 spot with a 4-3-0 (win-loss-draw) record, forced the formidable Blue Eagles to concede their first point of the season.
“We expected to have a tough match and I think that’s what we got today. I think Ateneo’s very organized this season. They also have a threat on the counter but I wish we could have done better with our chances,” FEU head coach Vince Santos told reporters after the match.
Santos added that he is pleased to see how their team performed in the first salvo of the contest considering that his wards are using a new playing system.
“We did not play in the Ang Liga so it’s the first time for us to see the other teams. I think it was a good learning experience for us. The key would be the adjustments that the teams will do in the second round,” he said. “We look forward to playing them again in the second round.”
Ateneo and FEU engaged each other in an explosive collision at the start of the match, however, both teams failed to convert on their handful of chances before the end of regulation.
Ateneo played without key striker Jarvey Gayoso, who was under suspension because of an accumulation of yellow cards. FEU, on the other hand, entered the game without the services of veteran Paolo Bugas who was nursing an injury.
In the other game, National University trounced University of Santo Tomas, 1-0, to take the No. 4 spot at the end of the first round.
Despite a slow start this season escaping with a single point in four games, NU managed to pick up their pace and register their third straight win.
The Bulldogs ended their opening round campaign with a 3-1-3 record while the Growling Tigers follow closely at No. 5 with a 2-1-4 mark.
National U relied on the lone strike of the Mike Arbela off a pass of Elmer Sampaga Jr. in the 55th minute to take the lead for their side late in the match.