University of Perpetual Help System DALTA picked up where it left off as it outlasted Ateneo De Manila University, 2-1, to evade a winless campaign in the second division of the Ang Liga Season 15 collegiate football tournament on Tuesday at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Quezon City.
Carrying a 1-0 lead from their postponed tiff, the Junior Altas Booters banked on Arnulfo Villanueva’s strike to escape a late charge from the shorthanded Blue Eaglet Booters and notch their breakthrough victory after a four-game losing skid.
The Las Piñas-based squad was able to net a goal during their first meeting against the boys from Katipunan last September 9 at the rain-soaked San Beda College Football Field in Mendiola, Manila.
Besides avoiding a fruitless season, Perpetual Help also gave itself a narrow chance to enter the playoff picture, with fourth-running Malayan Colleges Laguna only ahead via a higher goal difference.
The Junior Altas now have to await the last assignment of the Wizards and hope that they will stumble on a five-goal losing margin in order to advance to the semifinals.
Ateneo Juniors Football Team, on the other hand, suffered its third straight loss as it ended up dead last in the six-team table with three points to show.
With the first 45 minutes already played two months ago, the match fired off from the second half.
Villanueva sent the ball to the bottom right corner of the net to double the advantage for Perpetual in the 66th minute.
Moments later, the Atenean booters upped their offensive tempo as two of them launched dangerous shots that sailed over the crossbar.
The Blue Eaglets, however, were cut down to ten men after Luis Carlos Bongolan was punished with a straight red card for using profane language.
That incident though did not stop Ateneo from attacking and its aggression paid off when Ken Soriano pulled one back for the boys of Jaypee Merida.
With numbers on their side, Aaron Carlos’ wards leaned on their defense down the stretch to fend off the gritty Blue Eaglets and seal the deal. JEREMIAH M. SEVILLA