Gerrit Holtmann scores winning goal as Philippine Azkals beat Mongolia
MANILA, Philippines — Gerrit Holtmann delivered the game-winning goal in the nick of time to lift the Philippine Azkals past Mongolia, 1-0, for their first win in Group B of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers third round on Saturday at MFF Stadium in Ulaanbaatar.
With the Philippine men’s football team on the brink of settling for another goalless draw, the Vfl Bochum winger in Bundesliga came to the rescue with a clutch goal outside the box in the 93rd minute that stunned the home team and its crowd.
The Filipino-German made his Azkals debut in dramatic fashion, pushing the country on the cusp of another Asian Cup appearance.
Holtmann, who missed Azkals’ goalless draw against Yemen, gave his team the Group B lead with a total of four markers, ahead of Palestine, which has three as of posting time.
The Philippines will try to clinch a spot in the Asian Cup and Group B’s top seed against Palestine on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.
Patrick Reichelt had a chance to deliver the national team’s first goal in the 76th minute after he was awarded a penalty kick.
But Mongolia’s goal keeper Munkh Erdene Enkhtaivan anticipated Reichelt’s attempt and prevented him from scoring.
Thanks to the heroics of Holtmann, Azkals returning coach Thomas Dooley earned his first win with the team four years after Phil Younghusband’s game-winning goal for a 2-1 victory over Tajikistan in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Mongolia bombed out of contention with its second loss in the group.
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