Go Azkals Go!
MANILA, Philippines — The Azkals made history by becoming the first Philippine team to advance to the second round of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The Filipinos defeated Sri Lanka, 4-0, (5-1 on aggregate) much to the delight of thousands of local football fans who endured the rain just to witness the match at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Azkals winger Chieffy Caligdong scored the first goal in the 18th minute to put the Philippine ahead.
He found the back of the net with a strike that caromed off the left post.
Another goal by Azkals striker Phil Younghusband in the 42nd minute made it 2-0 in favor of the Philippines.
The Filipino-British footballer evaded 2 defenders and the Sri Lankan goalkeeper to increase the Azkals’ lead.
An assistant match official initially ruled out Younghusband’s goal because an alleged foul.
However, the senior referee overruled the sideline official, saying that the Azkal’s contact with a Sri Lankan defender was only minimal.
It was Angel Guirado’s turn to score in the second half.
The Filipino-Spaniard scored the country’s third goal in the 50th minute after receiving a through ball from James Younghusband.
Guirado beat the Sri Lankans’ offside trap and rounded the goalkeeper to tap the ball in.
Phil scored the fourth goal through a penalty kick in the 56th minute after Stephan Schrock was brought down by a Sri Lankan defender inside the box.
After the game, Sri Lanka’s team coach Jang Jung said they lost to a better and younger team.
“The Philippine players are much, much younger… we can see that clearly,” he said.
The Philippines launched attacks right at the kick off as the Sri Lankans struggled under the pouring rain.
Guirado and Phil fired long-range shots that troubled the opposing goalkeeper before Caligdong scored the opening goal.
Schrock was physical against the Brave Reds and was slapped a yellow card in the match.
He was also given a yellow card in the first leg, which means that he will be barred from playing in the Azkals’ next game.
Azkals team captain Aly Borromeo was also called for his 2nd yellow card in the qualifier. He is also barred from playing in the next match.
The Filipinos will take on Kuwait in the second round of the qualifiers.
Kuwait have scouted the Philippines for 2 consecutive matches, according to the Azkals media officer Rick Olivares. — Dennis Gasgonia, abs-cbnNEWS.com