Two veterans stepped up for the Ateneo Blue Eaglets as they pulled off a 1-0 triumph over the University of Santo Tomas Golden Booters at the start of the 82nd University Athletic Association of the Philippines Junior Football tournament last Sunday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Graduating standout Austin Baconcillo tipped in the Blue Eaglets’ lone goal in the fourth minute and from there, the Katipunan booters worked hard to preserve their lead until the end.
Goalie Cezar Artuz saved an attempt, which RJ Jarandillo made following a free kick on the sixth minute of added time.
This allowed the Blue Eaglets to join last year’s runner-up National University-Nazareth School in taking the early lead.
“The last moments were very intense. UST could have scored a goal. But Artuz got a lot of saves here,” said Blue Eaglets’ coach Dodjie Locsin.
The Bullpups, who are just in their third year in the league, started their campaign on a bright note with a 1-0 victory over de La Salle-Zobel.
Reuben Liansing scored off defender Deo Tano in the 48th-minute to put NU ahead.
UST went on the attack moments after Basconcillo scored. But Ateneo preserved its 1-0 lead at the half.
Artuz managed to fend 10 attempts from UST in the second half.
His final save came after the referee awarded UST a free kick instead of a penalty kick after Ateneo skipper Jet de la Cruz was called on a violation and Jarandillo collided into him following a offensive play near the penalty box.
Action resumes on Wednesday, with reigning nine-time champions Far Eastern University facing UST at 1:30 p.m.
The Bullpups will take on Ateneo for the early lead at 4 p.m.