UAAP 81 Football: FEU downs DLSU to end first round on top

FEU holds off DLSU, 2-1 to finish at the top of the standings at end of the first round of the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament

Far Eastern University captured a league-best fourth win as they took down De La Salle University, 2-1, in the UAAP Season 81 Men’s Football Tournament, Sunday morning at the FEU Diliman Football Field in Quezon City. 

Coming off a stunning draw to cellar-dwelling Adamson University last Thursday, the top-seeded Tamaraws looked to get back on track, and wasted no time in getting on the board, as Kim Minsu fired off the first goal in just the first minute of action. 

Looking to stay in the upper-half of the standings, the Green Archers answered back not long after, with Rafael Montelibano hitting the equalizer in the 22nd minute. 

With less than ten minutes to go, Dominique Canonigo provided the late-match heroics for the Tamaraws, as he converted in the 83rd minute to put FEU back on top. 

DLSU scrambled to find yet another equalizer but could not get it done this time, as FEU held on for the important win. 

“Our weak point was after scoring. After scoring, a few minutes later, we allowed a goal. Same situation today, after scoring early, the players were too relaxed, and this is part of the mentality,” said FEU head coach Bobae Park, who was critical of his team’s performance in spite of the win. “We need professional minds, and we’re still learning about professional minds.” 

With the win, FEU finishes the first round on top of the standings with four wins and three draws for 15 points. Park touched on the importance of ending the first round on a strong note, but maintains that his main focus now is staying healthy and on point for the second round. 

“We finished well our first round, but for me the most important is the second round. Our players are 16 players only, and still, two times a week we have a game, and our players bodies will be heavy, also because of the weather, and they can’t recover 100 percent, so this part is still also mental. I emphasize about this.”

DLSU meanwhile, remains at nine points off three wins and three losses in six matches. 

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