By Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—Displaying fine footwork and sheer speed, the Philippine men’s futsal squad blanked visiting Black Knights FC from Australia, 3-0, in friendly match Monday at the Ninoy Aquino stadium.
Fil-Iranian Misagh Bahadoran, who is also a member of the national football team, starred in the victory for his relentless attacks, for which he was rewarded in the 39th minute.
After close misses, Bahadoran finally connected on a free kick to double the lead, 2-0, even as he assisted Eddie Mallari in the ninth minute with a slick pass for the opening point.
In the 43rd minute, Sajad Khodarami blizted all the way for the country’s final goal.
National team head coach Esmael Sedigh, though, felt the squad—known as the Philippine Eagles—could have scored at least 7-8 goals with the way they played.
The Philippines, a potent mix of locals and Fil-foreigners, could have padded onto the lead with its countless attempts but lacked consistency in finishing.
Keeper Francis Paranpan also stood his ground in the face of the Black Knights’ wave of attacks with a brilliant save after another.
One of Paranpan’s notable saves was when he thwarted a stunning header by Australia’s Mitomo Somehara early in the match.
The friendly match is part of the squad’s build-up for the 2011 Southeast Asian Games in November.
Earlier, the Philippine women’s futsal team also shut out the WNCAA All-Stars in an exhibition match with the same score.
Jocelyn Guico, Richelle Placencio and Honey Thomason filled the score sheet for the Philippine side.