22 May 2014

Azkals near Challenge Cup semifinal berth after shutout of Laos

by Karlo Sacamos

NO storm ever ended without a rainbow appearing.
The Philippine men’s football team found the ray of triumph on Thursday when it whipped Laos, 2-0, to get its Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup campaign going.
Encountering calm weather conditions on the way to Hithadhoo Stadium this time, the Azkals found the scoring punch that was missing in their scoreless draw against Afghanistan as they shut out the Laotians to move a step closer to a semifinal berth in the tournament for emerging footballing nations in the continent.
Simone Rota and Patrick Reichelt emerged the goalscorers for the Azkals, who gained the provisional hold of the top spot in Group B with four points, while eliminating their victims from contention.
A victory over Turkmenistan in their last game on Saturday would ensure the Filipino booters' entry to the crossover Final Four.
Under pressure in a must-win situation, Azkals failed to find the mark in the first 40 minutes, before Rota, a defender, shone on offense, rebounding a Stephan Schrock miss with a strong strike four minutes before first-half stoppage time.
Reichelt doubled the lead in the 63rd minute when the in-form left-winger headed home a corner by Phil Younghusband, who conjured his own attempts that barely missed their targets.
It was the Philippines’ the breakthrough victory over Laos, which the Filipinos had never beaten in their last eight meetings.



  1. 2-0 against a bunch of learners like Laos is just not good enough. Something is seriously wrong with the guys up front. How many games and how many goals under Dooley? Any solutions before tickets back have to be booked early?

    1. i agreed......the team from Laos was so harmless that you actually must sweep them from the pitch with a four or five goals marging (at least)....our offensive is actually not existing......Phil is out of form and Patino not there. When Reichelt scores its actually more incidently as he needs too many chances to score ......i predict they book their ticket home to Manila on Saturday

    2. How is a perfectly timed header behind a crowd of people placed into the corner an accident?

      Haters will always hate. Not saying they are playing amazing but we still got the result. Not exactly a certainty when playing 2 years ago.

      If we make it through to the semis please don't jump back onto the bandwagon