UP, UST face off for UAAP men’s football crown
University of Santo Tomas ended a six-year drought and advanced to the final of the UAAP Season 80 men’s football tournament with a 1-0 win over Ateneo in extra time in Thursday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
UST, the winningest team in the league with 35 titles, will face University of the Philippines, which ousted De La Salle in the other semifinal, 1-0, in the one-off final next Thursday at the same venue.
After two seasons of disappointments, including last year’s 1-2 semifinal loss to Ateneo, the Golden Booters finally got over the hump.
“The players deserve to to be the final because they did their best today We didn’t give up,” said coach Marjo Allado, after the Tigers secured their first championship appearance since the 2011-12 season.
“We’re very happy,” said Allado, whose squad has seven graduating players and are hoping to end their careers with the tutle. “It’s our motivation; no more next year.”
Conrado Dimacali’s header from a saved attempt in the 105th minute put the Golden Booters ahead after a scoreless 90 minutes.
The Blue Eagles tried to equalize and send the match to penalties but Koko Gaudiel’s free kick deep in extra time hit the crossbar.
UST last ruled the league in the 2006-07 season when it defeated Far Eastern University in the championship round. Allado was then an assistant to Nonoy Carpio.
Meanwhile, Kyle Magdato’s 47th minute strike was enough for the Fighting Maroons to make a return trip to the Finals after a one-year absence. Celest Flores-Colina
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