University of the Philippines (UP) blanked National University, 2-0, to regain the top spot in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 80 men’s football tournament on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The Maroon Booters struck twice in the opening half to reclaim the lead in the eight-team tilt with 13 points built on a 5-1-0 win-draw-loss record.
Andres Gonzales and his men have returned to the winning track after a frustrating 1-1 draw with Far Eastern University in their previous outing.
The Bulldogs absorbed their third loss and dropped to No. 7 with four points on a win and a draw.
Rookie booter Fidel Tacardon scored his first goal for UP just five minutes into the match.
Kintaro Miyagi nodded in Julian Clariño’s parried shot in the 23rd minute to give the State U a comfortable two-goal lead, which turned out to be the final count.
Meanwhile, Far Eastern U notched its breakthrough victory by soundly thrashing Adamson University, 7-0.
Rico Andes fired a hat-trick while Marole Bungay, Alex Rayos, Audie Menzi and Harold Alcoresa chipped in a goal apiece as the last season’s runner-up finally barged into the win column.
The Tamaraw Booters moved up to No. 5 with five points on a 1-2-2 slate.
The Soaring Falcons’s woes continued as they plummeted to their fifth defeat in as many games.
In the match day opener, De La Salle University rediscovered its winning form as it edged out University of the East, 3-2.
Following a 2-2 deadlock in the first half, Paolo Perez drained the game-winning goal shortly after the break as the Green Booters rebounded from a 1-2 loss to rival Ateneo De Manila University.
The Hans Peter Smit-mentored squad strengthened their hold of No. 3 with nine points on three victories.
The Red Warriors suffered their second straight setback though they stayed at No. 6 with four points and a better goal difference against the Bulldogs.