MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo de Manila University returned to its winning form the other day after beating University of the East (UE), 2-0, to keep the lead in the UAAP Season 75 men’s football tournament at the Erenchun field inside the Ateneo campus.
The Blue Booters, after a scoreless draw against University of Santo Tomas (UST) Wednesday, relied on timely attacks and defense to improve to a league-leading 23 points on seven wins and two draws.
Philip Gozali and Michael Mabanag scored goal in the 43rd and 44th minute mark, respectively, to provide Ateneo a 2-0 advantage at halftime. UE, which has a worst 0-9-1 win-loss-draw slate for one point, couldn’t hit a goal even the second half.
“We really needed this win so badly and we couldn’t afford to waste another opportunity. I’m so happy to get that win,” said unbeaten Ateneo two-year coach JP Merida, hoping for another victory this week when they face Far Eastern University (FEU) Thursday.
“But Thursday game is very crucial because it will determine which team will claim the No. 1 spot at the end of the elimination round,” he added. “We’ll be ready on that day.”
Earlier, University of the Philippines (5-3-1 slate for 16 points) beat UST (3-6-1 log for 10 points), 1-0, behind Deo Segunial goal in the 52nd minute, while FEU (7-2-0 log for 21 points) defeated National University (2-7-1 log for 7 points), 1-0, behind Jesus Melliza’s goal in 37th minute.
In the women’s play, UST (3-2-2 win-loss-draw for 11 points) beat UP (0-5-1 for 1 point), 3-1, while league-leader FEU (3-0-3 for 12 points) knocked off Ateneo (3-2-2 for 11 points), 3-0.
In junior’s play, FEU (2-0-1 for 7 points) and Ateneo (2-0-1 for 7 points) settled to a 1-1 draw, while La Salle Zobel (1-2-0 for 3 points) whipped UST (0-3-0 for 0 point), 2-1.