Ateneo tops UST in Ang Liga opener

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Ateneo de Manila University got even against University of Sto. Tomas (UST), 1-0, in a heated rematch of last year’s first division finals in the opener of the Ang Liga Season 15 on Saturday at the De La Salle-Canlubang Football Field in Biñan, Laguna.

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Xavier Alcuaz scored the lone goal via header in the 34th minute as the Blue Booters enjoyed an early lead in the league and avenged their bitter 0-1 defeat to the Growling Tigers in the previous season’s championship match.

It was a highly-physical game all the way to the closing minutes, wherein things ended up in a fierce confrontation.

The España-based booters tried to salvage a draw in the final minute but goalkeeper Enrique Ortiz parried away a penalty kick by Gino Clariño.

UST’s Zaldy Abraham came up with a dangerous challenge on Ateneo’s Rupert Baña, which emptied both benches into a fracas.

When the match was put in control, Abraham and Iñigo Herrera were slapped with straight red cards.

Meanwhile, Jose Antonio Morada blasted a brace to power Don Bosco Technical College past Ateneo’s reserve team, 3-2, in the second division.

Morada struck twice in the second half as the Grey Wolves stunned the much-favored Ateneo side for the first maximum points.

“Actually, we’re not looking for any goal because we have a very young team. I just told them (players) to go with the options, never give up and just enjoy the game,” said Don Bosco head coach TJ Arenal.

The two clubs were on a 2-2 standoff seven minutes after the restart until Morada notched the match-winner in the 81st minute.

JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA

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