Jermi Darapan netted the match-winner as Far Eastern University (FEU) clinched a Final Four berth at the expense of University of the East (UE), 1-0, in Season 81 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s football on Sunday at the FEU-Diliman Football Field in Quezon City.
Darapan came off the bench to strike the lone goal in the 79th minute, giving the Tamaraw Booters the first semifinal spot this season with a league-best 24 points on a 7-3-2 win-draw-loss record.
Head coach Bobae Park’s FEU squad also posted its third win in a row to reclaim the top spot.
UE bowed out of Final Four contention as it dropped to the bottom with eight markers on a dismal 2-2-8 slate.
The Red Warriors actually led the standings early in the season but suddenly crashed to a seven-game winless run.
Meanwhile, Katipunan rivals University of the Philippines (UP) and Ateneo De Manila University battled to a 1-1 draw.
Kintaro Miyago hit the opener for the Maroon Booters in the sixth minute but Rupert Baña quickly struck the equalizer for the Blue Booters just three minutes later.
With the stalemate, UP remained at No. 3 with 20 points on a 6-2-4 card while Ateneo slid to No. 2 with 23 markers on a 7-2-3 sheet.
In the other fixture, also-ran Adamson University shocked last season’s finalist University of Santo Tomas, 1-0, behind Rey Poncardas’ 64th minute goal.
The Soaring Falcons ascended to No. 6 with 11 points on two wins and five draws against six losses. Adamson also snapped a four-game losing skid.
The Golden Booters suffered their third setback and fell to No. 5 with 17 markers on four wins and five draws.