by John Reczon Calay
Photos by Luis Adrian Hidalgo
After opening the season with two early losses, the University of the Philippines nipped defending champion Ateneo De Manila University, 1-0, in a rematch of last season’s finals in the UAAP Season 76 Men’s Football tournament Sunday at the FEU-Diliman pitch.
Maroon striker Jinggoy Valmayor catapulted the ball past Ateneo goalkeeper Yu Murayama in the 30th minute to push UP ahead by one, a lead they protected up to the final whistle.
With the win, the Diliman booters are now tied with DLSU for third place (6 points) while sending the Loyola squad down to sixth place with only 4 points to show.
But the victory did not come in handy for the Maroons. They had to weather numerous attempts by Ateneo’s Mikko Mabanag and Anton Sison during the second half.
It was UP’s second consecutive win after beating the National University (2-0) last Dec. 3, rising up from its first two defeats against the University of the East (2-0) and the De La Salle University (2-1).
UP will next face league-leading Far Eastern University (12 points) on Dec. 15 also at the FEU-Diliman football field.