Azkals impressive in 3-0 rout of Nepal in Doha friendly
Brandishing newfound confidence, the Philippines produced a glittering attacking display to dump Nepal, 3-0, Friday night in an international friendly in Doha, Qatar and gift coach Thomas Dooley his first victory.
Teenager Curt Dizon scored in his debut while Martin Steuble and Ruben Doctora found the back of the net for the first time in a dominant display by the Azkals preparing for the AFC Challenge Cup next month in the Maldives.
“It’s a great win to get confidence,” said Dooley whose tenure started out with a draw with Malaysia and a loss to Azerbaijan last month. “I’m happy because we scored. It was necessary and it was well-deserved and played.”
“We had four players making their debuts but the system [of play] held,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami.
It was a stunning display of depth and firepower but the surprise came just before the match when Dooley fielded a youthful starting eleven that included first timers Dizon, Daisuke Sato and Nick O’ Donnell and Jason de Jong occupying an advanced role at midfield.
The decision paid off 15 minutes into the match when Sato’s hopeful ball to the area was well collected by Dizon who beat the offside trap before slotting home from close range.
Steuble, making just his third start for the Azkals, finished off a move he also started as he headed home from close range in the 35th minute.
The pass came from James Younghusband who was released by a fine ball from the Fil-Swiss midfielder on the right.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.