UPMFT is champion!

The UP Men’s Football Team (UPMFT) won the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 86 men’s football tournament championship. The team defeated Far Eastern University (FEU), 1-0, in their final match on May 16 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The UPMFT. Photo from the UAAP Media Team

The last time the UPMFT won the championship of the UAAP men’s football tournament was in Season 80 (2017-2018).

The UPMFT controlled the game’s tempo in the first half with their aggressive offense. The break came in the 50th minute of the game when Andre Yu of the FEU fouled UPMFT’s Francis Tacardon inside the penalty box. Team Captain Marc Tobias of the UPMFT then blasted the FEU’s goal with his spot-kick. This produced the game’s lone score.

The FEU then stepped up their offense especially in the dying minutes of the game and had several chances to equalize the score. The UPMFT’s defense, however, was rock solid as they stood their ground until the final whistle was blown to secure their win. This is the Diliman-based booters’ 19th championship title.

(From left) Orlan Togores, Tobias, and Florenz Tacardon. Photo from the UAAP Media Team

Three members of the UPMFT received individual awards. Tacardon was named Most Valuable Player and Best Striker, Tobias was recognized as Best Midfielder, and Ramil Bation III won the Rookie of the Year and Golden Boot awards.

Meanwhile, family, friends, and supporters of the UPMFT held a bonfire celebration on May 18 at the UP Baseball Field for the team’s triumph and the UP Women’s Football Team’s (UPWFT) third place finish in this UAAP season. Two members of the UPWFT also earned individual awards. Coline Acelo and Jennifer Baroin were named Best Goalkeeper and Best Defender, respectively.

The bonfire celebration. Photo from Kristel Mae Parungao