Christian Lapas scored the lone goal from the penalty spot as University of the Philippines (UP) downed Ateneo De Manila University, 1-0, to grab the lead in the top division of the Ang Liga Season 15 collegiate football tournament on Saturday at the De La Salle University Science and Technology Complex Football Field in Biñan, Laguna.
Lapas’ penalty kick conversion early in the match proved to be the difference in the “Katipunan Derby” as the Maroon Booters cruised to their sixth straight win for 18 points.
With the victory, the State U snatched away the pole position from idle National University, which holds 17 points on a 5-2-1 win-draw-loss record.
The Blue Booters’ rough preseason continued as they absorbed their third loss against two wins, keeping them stuck on No. 7 with six points.
UP’s early aggression paid off when Darwin Basconcillo’s shot hit the hand of Ateneo defender Jeremiah Rocha inside the box, resulting in a penalty kick for the Diliman-based booters.
National team standout Lapas made no mistake from the spot as the midfielder sent goalkeeper AJ Arcilla to the wrong side for the goal in the 18th minute.
Jarvey Gayoso came close to draining the equalizer for the defending University Athletic Association of the Philippines champion with the striker’s free kick in the stoppage time that went straight to the post.
Meanwhile, in Division 2 action, San Beda College’s juniors team rode on an explosive second half as it pummeled a hapless University of Perpetual Help System DALTA, 5-0, to seize the second spot.
The Red Cubs buried four goals within the final 45 minutes as they notched their second straight win against a loss for six points, surpassing Don Bosco Technical College on No. 2 with a superior goal difference.
The Junior Altas Booters sank further down the cellar with their third defeat in as many games.
In the final fixture of the match day, San Beda demolished Emilio Aguinaldo College, 8-1, to end a two-game skid and ascend to No. 5 in Division 1.
The Red Booters posted their third win in five games for nine points while the Generals slid to 1-6.