ATENEO conceded an early goal but was able to get its bearings back to beat 10-man La Salle, 3-1, and remain on top of the table yesterday in the UAAP men's football tournament at the FEU-Diliman pitch.
Thanks to a Julian Roxas assist, Jarvey Gayoso delivered a sweet finish in the 16th minute for the Blue Eagles to level after Mauro Acot netted his first goal of the tournament in style, scoring a rocket from way outside the box to put the Green Archers ahead in the 10th minute.
Rupert Baña, from a crafty Mark Nacional pass, found the back of the net to account his seventh goal overall and give Ateneo a 2-1 lead in the 42nd minute.
Gayoso then broke free for another strike for his league-best ninth goal of the season in the 83rd minute that sealed Ateneo's victory.
The Blue Eagles, who drew solid outing from keeper AJ Arcilla in the second half to preserve the lead, avenged their 1-2 loss to their bitter rivals at the end of the first round to rose at 19 points.
In other fixtures, Far Eastern University defeated National University, 2-1, to improve at 18 points in second place, while Steven Anotado struck in the 87th as University of Santo Tomas nipped University of the East, 2-1, to move up at 17 points.
La Salle remains tied with defending champion University of the Philippines in fourth spot with 13 points, but the Taft-based squad has an inferior goal difference.
The Archers lost Rafael Montelibano in the 70th minute due to his second yellow card.
Rookie Gio Pabualan and Nikki Canonigo scored second-half goals for the Tamaraws to negate Angelo Paring's 36th minute strike that opened the scoring for the Bulldogs.
Ian de Castro's first-half stoppage time header off a John Alianza's free kick put the Growling Tigers on board, before Krysler Opeña, capitalizing on a goalkeeping error by Zaldy Abraham, scored the equalizer for the Red Warriors in the 59th minute.
After Anotado's go-ahead goal, UE tried to level late in the match, but Mar Diano's attempt was denied by the left post.
The Bulldogs and the Red Warriors remain at 10 and eight points, respectively.