Azkals drub Guam for first win in World Cup Qualifiers
DEDEDO, Guam—The Philippines picked up its first win in the 2022 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers after a 4-1 drubbing of Guam Tuesday at Guam FA Training Center here.
Four different players, led by captain Stephan Schrock, found the back of the net for the Azkals, who bounced back from a 2-5 defeat to Syria last week.
Getting a second consecutive start, Angel Guirado fired the opener six minutes into the match, before Patrick Reichelt doubled the lead in the 12th minute.
But just when the Azkals thought they had the Matao hemmed in, the home side fought back with a host of chances.
Guam however failed to supply the finish to some of its good play on the final third as the Azkals entered the break with a two-goal advantage.
The Azkals missed a couple of golden chances early in the second half with substitute Javier Patino bungling an opportunity from point-blank range and Schrock firing wide off a fine pass by Reichelt.
Emboldened by the string of misses, Guam cut the deficit in the 67th minute after Marcus Lopez beat Michael Falkesgaard from the penalty spot.
The foul was slapped on Carlie De Murga who pushed Travis Nicklaw inside the area while they were going for a header.
Schrock restored order with a brilliant solo effort after Guam’s buildup broke down at midfield. He allowed Patino to slip past the defense, but opted to fire a shot from just inside the box to the bottom corner to make it 3-1.
Strauss finally got his first international goal after a cool finish past Guam goalkeeper Jaye Dallas in the 81st minute.
Azkals coach Scott Cooper made four changes from the squad that played against Syria with youngsters Justin Baas and Yrik Gallantes handed their debuts, while Carlie De Murga and Mark Hartmann were inserted into the lineup.
The changes quickly paid off, with Schrock supplying the ball for Guirado to head home for the opening goal.
The Azkals next face China on Oct. 15 at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
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