Bahadoran bursts forth for Azkals | Inquirer Sports

Bahadoran bursts forth for Azkals

By: - Reporter / @cedelfptINQ
/ 02:32 AM June 19, 2015

The breakout star of the Philippine Azkals’ flying start in the World Cup Qualifiers hardly even impressed head coach Thomas Dooley in training camp.

Struggling to recover from a demanding club schedule, Misagh Bahadoran was far from his best and looked in danger of falling deep in the pecking order of what has now became a loaded Azkals side.

But Dooley never lost faith in the Fil-Iranian, and sending him in for an injured Stephan Schrock early against Bahrain turned out to be a stroke of genius.


“I told Misagh how much we needed him to work hard for the team and do his role,” said Dooley. “He has responded really well for us.”


Bahadoran, a dentistry graduate of Centro Escolar University, has scored twice in as many games and was also largely credited for the buildup to Javier Patiño’s strike against Bahrain.

“I didn’t expect to play a lot because coach wasn’t happy with the way I performed in training,” said Bahadoran. “But I made sure I was ready if he took a chance on me.”

The results have been spectacular for Bahadoran and the Azkals who are tied for the lead with North Korea in Group H with six points apiece. The 2-1 conquest of Bahrain at Philippine Sports Stadium was followed by a 2-0 blanking of Yemen at Qatar Sports Club in Doha in a game where Bahadoran’s brilliance was in full display. Patiño scored the other goal against Bahrain, while Iain Ramsay wrapped up the win against Yemen.

But these two matches were all about Bahadoran’s resurgence. He had never scored since 2012, when he was first called up, until these last two games.

Bahadoran proved devastating on the right, combining flair and speed with the willingness to fight for every possession. But it’s in tight spaces where Bahadoran thrives and his lovely turn and snap shot that opened the scoring in the 52nd minute against Yemen was a testament to how futsal (indoor football) developed his technical ability.

“Misagh is one of those players who could change the game if he’s really confident,” said teammate Patrick Reichelt.


Known as “ Hollywood” to teammates for his love of the spotlight, Bahadoran typified the Azkals’ workmanlike display in the last two matches.

Bahadoran attributes the squad’s balance as the key to his rise. “I am focused on creating offensively now and it’s because we have a team that has balance,” said the Global FC captain.

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For all the hype surrounding his new teammates, Bahadoran made sure he stood out.

TAGS: azkals world cup, Football, Misagh Bahadoran, Philippine Azkals

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