MANILA, Philippines - Host Ateneo hacked out a 1-0 victory over La Salle to gain the No. 1 spot in UAAP football competitions at the Erenchun inside the Ateneo campus last Sunday.
Freshman Valentino Calvo sneaked past two defenders and scored on the 77th minute and the Eagles held on with their defense to fashion out the win and improve to seven points on two wins and one draw.
"It is a nice win but we'll take one game at a time," said Ateneo coach JP Merida. "We need to be in the Final Four first before anything else. That’s our goal right now to be in the semis."
La Salle dropped to 1-2-0 (win-loss-draw) card worth three points.
Far Eastern University, behind striker Jesus Melliza, blanked reigning champion University of the Philippines, 3-0, for its second straight win for six points.
Melliza, from Iloilo, drilled in two goals on the 19th and 63rd minute while Eric Giganto accounted for the other goal on the 42nd minute.
"We prepared a lot for this win because we're expecting the defending champion to play tougher," said Melliza. "Our defense and patience kept us in the game. We are hoping these two victories will inspire us to win this season's title."
In the opener last Dec. 2, FEU routed La Salle, 3-0.
UP, on the other hand, dropped to 1-1-0 with four points.
University of Santo Tomas nipped University of the East, 1-0, in the other match to bounce back from a 0-1 loss to host Ateneo last Wednesday.
Returning Patrick O'Neal, who was suspended last Wednesday for committing two yellow cards, hit a goal on the 65th minute to improve UST's record to 2-1-0 for six points.
In women's matches, La Salle (0-0-3 for 3 points) and UST (0-0-1 for 1 point) settled to a 2-2 draw, while Ateneo (1-0-1 for 4 points) and FEU (1-0-2 for 5 points) fought to a scoreless draw.