Philippine Azkals lauded for bouncing back

By Peter Atencio | Manila Standard Today |

Coach Hans Michael Weiss lauded the Philippine Azkals national football team for rebounding nicely from a defeat to Uzbekistan at the start of their training camp in the Middle East.

The Azkals got two goals from Phil Younghusband as they won their friendly match, a 3-1 beating of Al-Ahli of Qatar last Monday at the Hamad Bin Khalifa Stadium in Doha.

Weiss expressed his satisfaction over the outcome of the friendly.

“Very good. It was clear proof of the team’s tactical discipline, because we were agreeing that we had to drop deeper,” wrote Weiss in his email message to scribes in Manila.

After getting an indirect free-kick some six yards from the goal, James Younghusband passed the ball back to his brother Phil, who slammed the ball into the net, giving the Azkals a 1-0 lead at the ninth minute.

They found another chance to score when Angel Guirado then went for a pass to James Younghusband before the first half ended.

But as Younghusband’s kick got deflected by the goalkeeper, the Azkals got another scoring opportunity in the 45th minute.

Fil-German Dennis Wolf, who was lurking inside the box, caught the ball on the rebound and scored his first international goal when he ran the ball into the net.

In the 52nd minute, Fil-German goalie Roland Müller’s goal kick went straight through to Phil Younghusband, who chipped in the ball past the onrushing keeper to put the Azkals up, 3-0.

Ali Solaima Ashiri then prevented a shutout win for the Azkals when he scored at the 57th-minute mark for Al-Ahli.

The Azkals, who bounced back from a 0-3 loss to the Uzbekistan under-23 Olympic team, will resume their Middle East tour on Thursday against the Australia Qantas Under-23 team.

He said that Phil Younghusband’s defensive actions are now commendable. “Phil was into defensive action. He was in a very tight wall against the offensive attacks, and that enabled us to go into numerous counterattacks, and face many many dangerous situations,” said Weiss.