Dooley refuses to dwell on missed chances in loss to Yemen
For Azkals coach Thomas Dooley, there is no point in dwelling in controversy on the heels of the Philippines’ 1-0 defeat to Yemen.
Fans inside the Rizal Memorial Stadium felt that the Azkals were denied of legitimate goals before the Yemenis nailed the lone point of the match that sealed the Philippines’ doom.
But the American coach would have none of that.
“I didn’t see anything,” he said. “I just saw the goalkeeper made a great save. I think there was a clear shot from Martin and we just couldn’t finish it.”
Jerry Lucena almost scored at the 57th minute, taking advantage of a wild scramble coming off of a Manny Ott free kick. It was Steuble’s golden chance at the 67th minute after he received a pass from Kevin Ingreso at the left flank. Unfortunately, Yemen goalkeeper Mohammed Ebrahim Ali Ayash was there both times, stifling those shots and averting disaster for his also-ran squad.
“We can’t get it with an empty goal. If you have two to three chances like that and the other team will score, you know something is wrong, something is missing, and I don’t know what it is,” said Dooley.
Rather than looking at those uncredited goals, he instead expressed his frustration with the Azkals’ form on Thursday as they saw their World Cup bid flatline.
“Obviously, we’re not happy with the result,” he said. “We said before the game that we can’t lose this game, we have to win the game, and it’s difficult.”
Dooley thought that the Azkals didn’t play with the sense of urgency considering what was at stake.
It’s difficult in the first half that we didn’t play the way we wanted. We dropped too deep, we didn’t get a chance to press and play in their half. In the second half, we tried to get more offensive-minded and push it more forward, create chances, but it’s difficult. It’s not the way we wanted to play with the kind of urgency that we need.”
The visiting team have also improved since they got a 2-0 beating from the Azkals in Doha back in June, Dooley said.
“That team had already two months together, and have already played five to six times. You could see that the connection, combination, and understanding in the field wasn’t there today for us, and (Yemen) connected very well with each other.”
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