JARVEY Gayoso produced a late magic to force extra time as Ateneo scored a thrilling 2-1 win over fierce rival De La Salle to reclaim the crown in the UAAP Season 81 men’s football tournament Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The Green Archers looked to end a 21-year title drought after rookie Mohammad Almohjili opened the account in the 78th minute.
Then Gayoso, who was named the season MVP on top of his fourth straight Best Striker award, scored what could be the best game of his young checkered career.
From a Luke Alleje assist, Gayoso netted the wonderful goal – the 12th of the season – early in stoppage time for the Blue Eagles to level at 1-1, sending the match to extra 30 minutes.
Julian Roxas, one of the three graduating Ateneo players, then hit a 100th minute goal off a Alleje cross to give Ateneo a 2-1 lead that it protected until the final whistle.
The Eagles won their second crown in three years and the eighth overall.
Ateneo now also leads their men’s football Finals head-to-head vs De La Salle, 3-2, with the Katipunan-based side taking the last two meetings.
AJ Arcilla, who produced key saves for the Eagles in extra time, was named the Best Goalkeeper, while the Rookie of the Year honors went to Shanden Vergara of the Archers.
De La Salle’s Yoshi Koizumi and Jed Diamante bagged the Best Defender and Best Midfielder awards, respectively, while University of Santo Tomas won the Fair Play award.
Aside from Roxas, Rupert Baña and Jeremiah Rocha ended their UAAP careers as champions.