MANILA, Philippines - Ateneo nipped La Salle in the penalty shootout, 4-3, to make a return trip to the finals of UAAP men’s football tournament at the Erenchun field of the Ateneo campus Thursday.
Far Eastern U, meanwhile, forced sudden-death in the other semis duel as it beat defending champion University of the Philippines, 5-1, behind striker Jesus Melliza’s hat-trick in the first half.
Melliza drilled in goals in the seventh, 34th and 45th minute to give FEU a 4-1 lead entering the second half. UP’s Gerardo Valmayor produced a goal in the 41st minute.
FEU and UP dispute the other finals berth at 2 p.m. tomorrow.
The other FEU scorers were Angelou Val Jurao in the 43rd minute and Eric Giganto in the 87th.
La Salle’s Patrick Deyto muffed his attempt in the penalty shootout, leaving the score tied at 3, then Christian Noel scored the marginal goal to send Ateneo to its first finals appearance since 2008.
Ateneo and La Salle failed to score in a grueling 90-minute regulation and 30-minute extension, paving the way for the penalty shootout, where both teams were given five attempts each to hit a goal outside the box.
Ateneo got a goal from Valentino Calvo, Michael Mabanag and Carlo Liay, while La Salle had goals from Nat Alquiros, Gerald Layumas and Fedricco Rabaya.