University of the East (UE) stunned leading team Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU), 2-1, in the second round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) football tournament at the Moro Lorenzo Field on Thursday.
The Red Warriors, after halting the three-game winning run of the Blue Eagles, improved their record to 3-2-8 (win-draw-loss) for 11 points, good for the No. 7 spot.
Despite the loss, Ateneo kept the solo lead with 29 points on a 9-2-1 card.
Mar Diano and Mark Lerion powered UE to their second straight victory.
The Red Warriors were quick to dominate the Ateneans in the first half with Lerion penetrating their opponents’ defense in the fifth minute of the match.
Not long after, a strike by Diano in the 18th minute off the pass from teammate Jasper Absalon doubled the advantage of the team from Recto Avenue.
Ateneo retaliated when play continued in the second half as Carlo Liay took one back for his side in the 67th minute off a penalty narrowing their foes’ lead to a solitary goal before fulltime.
“We really prepared for this game. Attacking is what we really focused on during this game because we usually lack it in our game plays,” UE head coach Florence Arboleda said in Filipino after the game.
He added that the victory gave his wards a morale boost.
“Ateneo’s is the No. 1 team and we are really happy that we defeated the current top team in this year’s UAAP. This is our third win and so far everything is going well with the squad,” he ended.
In the other game, Far Eastern University ensured their entry to the Final Four with a dominant 5-1 triumph over cellar-dweller Adamson University.
It was the Tamaraws’ seventh win on top of four draws and two losses, good for the No. 3 spot. Adamson, with a lone victory, absorbed its 13th loss.
JAELLE NEVIN REYES