National University (NU) defeated Ateneo de Manila University, 1-0, in a highly charged match on Thursday in UAAP Season 76 men’s football tournament at the Far Eastern University (FEU)-Diliman pitch.
The game ended with both teams left with 10 men as Blue Eagles Lui Clavano and Bulldogs rookie John Nico Macapal were sent off in injury time for their second yellow card. A total of eight yellow cards were handed out in the hotly contested duel.
Notching only its second win of the season, NU climbed to 10 points to stay in sixth place.
Skipper Paolo Salenga scored his sixth goal of the season in the 33rd minute for the Bulldogs, who still played aggressively despite being already eliminated from the playoff race.
It was a frustrating result for Ateneo, which entered the game needing to sweep all of its three games and hope fourth-running University of Santo Tomas loses all of its remaining elimination round games to advance to the semifinals.
Instead, the Eagles will miss the Final Four, a year after they made an improbable run at the championship. The Blue Eagles are in last place with six points.