|Enzo Ceniza shone in the first Katipunan Derby with his lone strike. (File photo)|
MANILA -- Scrappy as ever, Ateneo remained unbeaten in the UAAP men's football season, nipping titleholders UP by the slimmest of scorelines in an exciting Katipunan derby Sunday afternoon at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Blue Eagles withstand wave after wave of UP attacks with their stonewall defending, and made them pay with their missed chances in the second half, with a lone strike by Enzo Ceniza the difference in this highly charged encounter, picking up maximum points for the sixth straight match to solidify their hold on the top spot in the table.
Fellow freshman AJ Arcilla picked up a clean sheet in the process to snap their three match losing run to the Fighting Maroons dating back from last season.
Physicality became the norm in a rematch of last season's final, where 23 fouls where whistled by Canadian referee Daniel Lezak thay led to two bookings for each side, all them were flashed in the first half as UP made most of the possession but could not make their chances count as halftime ended goalless.
In the second half UP were the more aggressive side with more clear cut chances but could not break the Ateneo net, as Kintaro Miyagi came close in the 67th minute, when he flashed his shot wide to the left.
Three minutes after that, bedlam broke at the Ateneo gallery when Ceniza turned a mistake into a correct move, as he corrected their miscommunication with Jordan Jarvis by blasting his right-footed shot past Ace Villanueva's far post for his third goal of the season.
The Blue Eagles almost made it 2-0 just two minutes later but Jarvey Gayoso chipped his effort wide with only Villanueva to beat.
However, Ateneo will have to thank Arcilla for getting the three points, as he comes up huge between the sticks to deny UP's chances of an equalizer.
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