Dooley: Azkals have everything to gain in Uzbekistan loss | Inquirer Sports
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Dooley: Azkals have everything to gain in Uzbekistan loss

/ 01:15 AM September 09, 2015
Thomas Dooley Photo by  Tristan Rafael Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Thomas Dooley  Photo by Tristan Rafael Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Faced with a tall task of outshining a squad 50 spots above in the world rankings, the Philippine Azkals’ 5-1 defeat against Uzbekistan on Tuesday isn’t something the team should dwell upon.

READ: Uzbekistan routs PH Azkals, 5-1, in World Cup qualifiers

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That’s what it was for coach Thomas Dooley, who reminded his wards to hold their heads up after a valiant effort against the powerhouse Uzbeks.
“We didn’t lose a lot, but we didn’t gain anything,” he said.

Though highly optimistic coming into this match, Dooley admitted everything went south for the Azkals after Odil Akhmedov struck the opening goal at the first minute.

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Their woes were compounded 10 minutes after, with Sardor Rashidov doubling the Uzbekistan lead which flustered the Azkals further.

“I thought it will be a great experience for the players. But the thing is, from the first kick, we started on the wrong direction and after the first goal, the first minute, everything we tried to do was gone,” he said.

Dooley did not fault anyone for the big defeat and understood the position his team has been dealt with.

He, rather, lauded his whole squad for fighting through despite the big deficit.

“I think the players didn’t give up. There were mistakes that we have to correct next time. We have to run those, and we should be  fine,” he said.

“It’s not that easy to put that aside and continue to play because it’s a shock. You go over it, and then there’s the second goal. We talked to the players how tough it was, and they took shots all over the place. We have to analyze our games better moving on. We need games like this where we could find what we would do wrong and move forward from there.”

As the Azkals prepare for their next World Cup qualifying match against North Korea on October 8, Dooley is just telling his squad to assess themselves in hopes of emerging as a better unit.

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“We won two games already and we lost to a team which is absolutely the number one in our group,” he said.

“We didn’t lose anything. We can gain a lot if we win against Uzbekistan. We could’ve moved mountains. But if we lose, maybe we didn’t lose a lot. So we need to learn from our mistakes and take it to our next game.” TVJ

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TAGS: Azkals, azkals world cup, Philippine Azkals, Thomas Dooley, Uzbekistan
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