13 October 2010
Philippines enjoy morale-boosting goal fest
The Philippines enjoyed a confidence-boosting 5-0 win over Macau in a warm-up match for their AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying campaign, which kicks off with a game against Timor Leste on October 22.
A hat-trick from striker Ian Araneta and goals from midfielders James Younghusband and Emilio Caligdong secured the victory for the Philippines.
The win came after a 4-2 loss against Hong Kong and a 1-1 draw with Chinese Taipei in the four-team Long Teng Cup staged in Kaohsiung. Hong Kong won the tournament with the Philippines coming in third on four points.
The Philippines have a settled line-up ahead of the qualifying tournament involving hosts Laos, Cambodia and Timor Leste when the winners and runners up will progress to the AFF Suzuki Cup finals in December.
Defender Anton del Rosario, midfielders Younghusband and Caligdong and Aly Borromeo all played in the 2007 AFF Suzuki Cup when the Philippines recorded a surprise 0-0 draw with Myanmar in a group match.
The Philippines failed to make it through to the finals in 2008 when Cambodia and Laos progressed but the results in the Long Teng Cup will have given them hope of qualifying this time around.
Arguably the best result in the tournament was their 1-1 draw with hosts Chinese Taipei, Araneta securing the point with a goal deep in time added on.
James Younghusband's brother Phil scored both goals in the loss to Hong Kong earlier in the competition. The Philippines showed a lot of spirit to fight back from two goals behind but went down to a couple of late strikes.