UE plays giant killer, hands Ateneo first loss of the season

Santino Honasan on Apr 06, 2017 07:34 PM
UE plays giant killer, hands Ateneo first loss of the season
UE's Mark Lerion (8) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal in their 2-1 win over Ateneo

A couple of first half goals spelled the difference, as University of the East stunned league-leading Ateneo de Manila, 2-1, handing them their first loss in UAAP Season 79 men's footballl action, Thursday afternoon at the Moro Lorenzo Football Field in Ateneo de Manila. 

It was Mark Lerion who struck first for the Red Warriors, letting it fly from the top of the penalty box and sending it through the outstretched arms of Ateneo keeper AJ Arcilla four minutes into the match. 

In the 19th minute, much to the disbelief of the Ateneo crowd in attendance, the Red Warriors doubled their lead, with Jason Absalon sending a well-timed cross to sophomore striker Mar Vincent Diano, who volleyed the ball over Arcilla and into the the back of Ateneo's goal. 

Facing possibly their first L of the season, Ateneo turned up the aggression in the second half, but UE stood toe-to-toe on the defensive end, doing a good job of disrupting the Blue Eagles' offense. 

Ateneo managed to get a scoring opportunity however, as a handball call led to a penalty kick for the Blue Eagles, which Carlo Liay converted easily in the 67th minute. 

Unfortunately for the league leaders, no equalizer would materialize, and UE held on for the big win after regulation. 

"Nagprepare talaga kami for this game, nag-set kasi ako ng mga plays. Attacking kasi ang kulang namin against Ateneo," said UE head coach Fitch Florence Arboleda. "Ateneo is the number one team, sobrang tuwa lang namin kasi natalo namin yung top team ngayon sa UAAP, and at the same time, ito yung third win namin." 

In their last two matches, UE has beaten FEU and Ateneo, both Final Four teams. The Red Warriors improve to eleven points on three wins, two draws, and eight losses. 

Ateneo on the other hand moves to 29 points on nine wins, two draws, and one loss. 

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