MANILA, Philippines—Phil Younghusband needed only nine minutes to score a hattrick.
Younghusband showed off his offensive arsenal to lead the Philippines to an 8-0 shutout of Cambodia in their rain-delayed match in Group E Qualifying of the AFC Challenge Cup at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium Sunday night.
Younghusband started off his scoring binge with a short strike inside the box in the 25th minute – keeping his balance as Cambodia’s keeper closed in – before coming through anew six minutes later on a nifty curler to the delight of the sizeable hometown crowd.
The Fil-British striker though, was far from done as he pounced on the visitors’ poor defending with a header in the 34th minute then assisted on a goal by debuting Fil-Spanish forward Javier Patiño before capping off his stellar night with another goal in the 87th minute.
Younghusband’s fourth goal, the Azkals’ seventh of the game, matched Turkmenistan’s output in their game against Cambodia last Friday. Carlo de Murga eclipsed it three minutes after off a corner kick by Stephan Schrock to put the Philippines atop the standings in Group E.
The Philippines needs just a draw against Turkmenistan on Tuesday to advance into the next phase.
The rain started to pour in the second half but it hardly affected the Azkals’ strong play.
Patiño scored his second international goal in the 57th minute – squeaking one in – past three defenders to make it, 6-0, after Schrock, who also came up with his second international goal at the start of the second half.
Schrock got help from Cambodia after one of its players got a piece of the ball – changing its direction – before finding the back of the net.
Officials temporarily suspended the match, which was interrupted by a power outage late in the first half, for an hour near the 70-minute mark after parts of the pitch were flooded.
Patiño was close to having a hattrick of his own but his header hit the crossbar in the 81st minute. Angel Guirado’s header also missed as it sailed left.
Ronald Muller started in place of keeper Neil Etheridge, who served his suspension in a forfeiture win over Brunei.