Azkals shrug off Cambodia as Phil Younghusband reaches milestone
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine national football squad successfully defended their home pitch after thwarting the hapless Cambodian national booters, 3-0, in a friendly at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Friday, November 14.
The Azkals were off to an good start to their last home match before departing for the Suzuki Cup later this month as Daisuke Sato tried his luck at a goal and connected to open the match for the Philippines at the 13th minute.
The fired up offense of the home squad continued to pound on the defense of the visiting Cambodian team with several shots on goal spearheaded by the Azkals’ frontline.
Cambodia, on the other hand, tried to do damage on the offensive end of their side of the pitch but the Azkals' defense more than held its own much to the delight of coach Thomas Dooley who preached about protecting the goal in the press conference prior to the match.
The relentless offense of the Azkals almost inflicted another damage on the defense of the Cambodians as Misagh Bahadoran connected in with a header but his goal was ruled offside.
After the early substitution of team skipper Rob Gier, who came off for Juani Guirado, the lead of the national squad got doubled to 2-0 as Manny Ott connected on a rebound ball after Cambodian keeper Sou Yati deflected Phil Younghusband’s shot but failed to clear it.
During the halftime break, a special tribute program, headed by Philippine Football Federation General Secretary Atty Ed Gastanes and Match Commissioner Richard Joson, was held in honor of Emilio “Chieffy” Caligdong in light of his retirement from international football duty.
The offense of the Cambodians returned to the pitch after the break with a refreshed eagerness to reduce the deficit of the Azkals as Sok Chanrasmey tried his luck at goal but his shot was too soft for the nimble hands of Patrick Deyto.
A crazy sequence marred the remaining minutes of second half as the Azkals sent a series of close shots on goal but none went in until Phil Younghusband broke away from his defender to write the final sentence of the friendly scoring the third and final goal of the match for the Philippines.
The 27-year-old striker reached a milestone with that final goal being the 40th of his international career which started in 2005 – an impressive feat for a booter his age. – Rappler.com