Javier Gayoso delivered the marginal goal for Ateneo de Manila University as the Blue Eagles notched a 1-0 win over archrival De La Salle University on Thursday in Season 79 University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s football tournament at the Moro Lorenzo Field.
The sophomore striker struck the winning goal in the 36th minute inside the penalty box as Ateneo’s defense frustrated the Green Archers’ bid to settle for a draw in the second half.
The win was fourth straight in as many games for the Blue Eagles, who tightened their grip of the top spot with 12 points.
It was the Green Archers’ first loss after a draw and a win in their first two assignments.
La Salle tried valiantly to equalize and got its best chance when midfielder Yoshiharu Koizumi hit a free kick that failed to find the back of the net.
In the other game, John de Castro provided the much-needed lift for the slumping University of Santo Tomas (UST) as the Tigers scored a 2-1 victory against University of the East (UE).
De Castro got his chance from deep inside their foes’ territory in the 53rd minute that proved to be the marginal goal as UST barged into the win column after losing its first two games.
“Well, I hope that even if we won this game, the players will keep working to be better. I hope the players’ spirit and confidence come back after this game,” UST head coach Marjo Allado told reporters after the game.
“My players are still affected with our losses in our first two games so during halftime, I reminded the players that they should focus in the last 45 minutes,” he added.
The Red Warriors drew the first blood when Jo Mallen scored a goal in the 11th minute.
But the Growling Tigers fought back and AJ Pasion netted the equalizer three minutes before the break.
“The first goal of UE was a tactical error on our part because there was no marking on the player in our back line. But luckily, we equalized but we still have a lot to improve on,” Allado said.
“I think we need more aggressiveness because as you can see, during the first half, we just played in the same pace as UE. We did not play football and we just released many chances and that is not how UST plays,” he concluded.