Philippine Azkals came from behind and successfully defended the Peace Cup title by trouncing Pakistan, 3-1, Tuesday night at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Pakistan took the early lead when Kaleem Ullah beat Jerry Barbaso inside the box to score their first goal in the 15th minute.
It took the Azkals 18 minutes to equalize via Patrick Reichelt goal in the 33rd minute.
The second half was a different story.
Philippine Azkals came out more aggressive at the start of the second half, hoping to score 2 more goals to ensure that they won’t let go of the title.
After several chances, Chris Greatwhich then scored a rebound goal off a Reichelt miss at the 78th minute to give the Azkals a 2-1 lead.
Clock was ticking fast, and it looked like Azkals won’t be able to score another goal until Patrick Reichelt beat his defender, made his way towards the right side then sent a cross for Stephan Schrock who finished with a low strike for Philippines’ third goal at the 88th minute in front of the roaring crowd in Panaad.
With Azkals 3-1 win against Pakistan, they emerged on top with higher goal difference, amid all three countries finishing with 3 points.
“We are lucky tonight,” said Dan Palami. “We have a lot to prepare. I hope everyone are with us as we prepare for the bigger challenge of the Challenge Cup in Maldives. With the way we play right now, it’s not enough to be champions. These (upcoming) friendlies will allow us to prepare to get the championship in Maldives,” he added.
Despite the win, Coach Michael Weiss believes that the players can still reach their full potential comes May for the AFC Challenge Cup finals.
Starting eleven at the match against Pakistan are Neil Etheridge, Jerry Barbaso, Rob Gier, Juan Guirado, Jeffrey Christiaens, James Younghusband, Jerry Lucena, Chris Greatwich, Stephan Schrock, Misagh Bahadoran, and Patrick Reichelt.
Angel Guirado came in at the 35th minute, replacing Jerry Barbaso. OJ Porteria then came in at the 74th minute for Misagh Bahadoran; while Chris Greatwich was replaced by Mark Hartmann in 86th minute.
Inured Phil Younghusband came in at the 90th minute for Stephan Schrock.
Photo Credit : Point & Shoot by TQ