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UST's set pieces proved to be lethal as they defeat NU

Darwin Busmion and UST leapfrog NU to fourth by converting its set pieces in a 2-1 win
By Earl Averilla

MANILA -- AJ Pasion's marginal strike proved to be enough for UST to see off NU as they continue to battle for fourth place and the chance to reach the Final Four as the UAAP Men's Football Season goes into the homestretch earlier in the afternoon at the Rizal Memorial.

Maximizing their set-pieces to the hilt, the Growling Tigers exact revenge on the first-round setback at the hands of the Bulldogs with just two points separating them and La Salle who plays UP as of this writing.

UST broke the ice first in the 17th minute though with Darryl Regala firing the free kick from distance into the six-yard box that was converted by a flying Darwin Busmion with a header that found the net.

NU increased the pressure and dominated the possession shortly after going a goal down, but they weren’t able to capitalize to get an equalizer. A great chance arrived in the 35th minute from a Marvin Viray shot from distance but Zaldy Abraham was able to palm it away over the bar to safety.

A pragmatic UST though were more dangerous with the very few opportunities given to them as they were able to carve out chances with their set pieces from way-out through long balls into the box.

Great chances in the final two minutes of the half came into the Tigers’ way that was saved by Chris Perocho and missed it respectively. The first half eventually ended 1-0 to the season hosts.

The second half started with more eagerness from both sides to attack. Both teams were able to carve out chances that a goal was more likely to come. It did eventually arrive in the 74th minute as an NU set piece managed to arrive on the feet of Mike Arbela who spectacularly guided it true to its target making it 1-1.

The match became more open after Bulldogs equalize adding to the overall excitement heading to the closing stages as UST eventually got the winning goal from a set piece courtesy of an unmarked AJ Pasion.

With the Tigers' win, Marjo Allado's men puts them in fourth at 17 points, one ahead of their victims as the race for the final postseason spot narrowly hangs in the balance.

Follow him on Twitter: @earlaverilla