Azkals rookie Deyto making most of his chance
DUBAI — Patrick Deyto wasn’t even supposed to be here.
Initially left out of the lineup for the Philippine national team’s two friendly matches a week ago, the Green Archers United goalkeeper now ended up as the Azkals’ saving grace for this two-country swing.
With Ed Sacapano unable to get his release papers from Army and Roland Muller deciding not to make the trip due to an illness, Deyto has been thrust into the limelight as the only goalkeeper in the squad for the duel against Azerbaijan on Wednesday night.
“I’m just happy I’m getting my chance,” said the 24-year-old former De La Salle standout, who had a terrific debut against Malaysia, where he produced two world-class saves in the goalless draw Saturday.
Significantly, Deyto’s rise is a prime example of a homegrown player making the most out of his chance.
“He’s a young and talented keeper no doubt about that, but to step out on the field and perform the way he did in a hostile environment against a very good Malaysian team was very impressive,” said Azkals skipper Rob Gier who anchors the backline.
“Obviously its disappointing not to have Neil (Etheridge) and Roland (Muller) because of injury and sickness and Patrick is in the right place at the right time. Every homegrown player should aspire to be like him. He’s an example of someone who works hard, has talent and gets the opportunity he deserves.”
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