Fulltime: Philippine Azkals 4-0 Sri Lanka
MANILA, Philippines — The World Cup dream is on for the Philippine Azkals after they shut out Sri Lanka, 4-0, in the second leg of the 2014 Fifa World Cup Qualifiers round one at the Rizal Memorial Stadium Sunday.
The Philippine team moved to the second round of the World Cup qualifiers for the first time in this country’s football history and will meet Kuwait in another home-and-away match on July 23 and 28.
The Philippine Azkals peppered Sri Lanka with goals courtesy of star strikers Phil Younghusband, Chieffy Caligdong and Angel Guirado.
Younghusband, who hurt his hamstring in the away leg in Sri Lanka, scored in he 43rd minute and on a penalty kick in the 57th.
Caligdong, hailing from Barotac Nuevo in Ilolilo and one of the remaining homegrowns in the squad, struck a brilliant set piece goal to open up the scoring in the 19th minute while Guirado tripled it in the 51st.
Heavy rain met the kickoff, but that did not stop the Azkals from totally dominating the match with a superb display of their attacking prowess.
It was a far cry from the erratic performance of Philippine side in the 1-1 draw in Sri Lanka last June 29.
Fil-British Younghusband was on the attack since the get-go, despite a muddy and slippery pitch, but his early shots either sailed wide or gathered by the Sri Lankan keeper Fernando Manjula.
The Philippines’ second goal was nearly nullified because of a foul on Younghusband before the goal, but it was officially counted after a huddle by the referees.
Meanwhile, midfielder Fil-German Stephan Schrock, who lost his cool in a scuffle, and skipper Aly Borromeo were booked for their second yellow card of the entire leg.
Schrock and Borromeo may be suspended in the next game of the Azkals as per FIFA regulations.