University of the East (UE) shocked Far Eastern University (FEU) with a 2-1 upset win in their second round meeting in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Football Tournament at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Saturday.
The Red Warriors were resuscitated in the second half to register their second win and improve their record to 2-2-8 (win-draw-loss) for eight points at No. 7.
On the other hand, the Tamaraws though they’ve absorbed their second defeat of the year, remained at the No. 3 spot with a record of 5-4-2 for 19 points.
Alberto Echin capped the late-game charge of the booters from Recto with a strike in the second minute of added time in the second half to secure their win.
The Tamaraws took control earlier in the game with Rico Andes opening the scoring in the 36th minute, 1-0, going into the break.
However, defensive problems besieged Far Eastern U as veteran RJ Joyel was caught fouling an attacking UE player inside the box just a few minutes after the restart.
Deloso Absalon took the penalty in the 58th minute and equalized the score at 1-1 with more than 30 minutes left.
With their confidence regained, the Red Warriors pounded on their opponents’ defense en route to a game-winning goal before the end of regulation.
“We had a very poor start because we had passes that were very soft so we really needed to adjust in the second half. Actually, I just really wanted the boys to play well in this game,” UE head coach Florence Arboleda said in Filipino after the game.
He added that despite being out of the Final Four race, he wants his squad to finish strong with their remaining games in the tournament.
“Right now we just want to finish strong this season. But for sure, next season will be something that we will really prepare for,” Arboleda ended.