The National Men’s Team, more popularly known as the Azkals, prevailed over Yemen (0-2) , its second opponent in Group H for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia (TM) – Asian Qualifiers / AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 (TM) Qualifiers (Round 2) in a match held at the Qatar Sports Club Stadium in Doha last night, 16 June 2015.
The team started strong with an early attempt after Misagh Bahadoran dribbled past his defenders to feed the ball to Azkals debutant Iain Ramsay whose shot was blocked by Yemen’s keeper. This set the tone for the team to dominate the match with numerous attempts, keeping the ball constantly in the opponent’s half, allowing few counter-attacks that were contained by the defense. The persistent attacks from both the left and right flanks paved way for a goal by Misagh Bahadoran on the 53rd minute as he grabbed the ball from the defense line with a turn and left foot shot from inside the penalty box. This was Bahadoran’s 2nd goal in the qualifiers as he scored against Bahrain in June 11 match at the Philippine Sports Stadium. On the 74th minute, the Ramsay-Patino wing tandem produced the 2nd goal with Patino successfully bringing the ball close to the end line for a sharp on-ground cross for a one-touch shot by Ramsay.
Luke Woodland, who was recently allowed by FIFA to play for the Philippines, had consistent play in the backline. Dennis Villanueva and Kevin Ingreso were also fielded towards the end of the 2nd half.
Around 5200 spectators were in the Stadium, most of whom Filipino fans supporting the Azkals. Thousands tuned in on live telecast via ABS-CBN.
The Philippines now ranks 2nd next to North Korea in the team standings in Group H, with both having six points.
The Philippines will face Uzbekistan on September 8, 2015 for a home match at the Philippine Sports Stadium. Its remaining matches also include:
October 8, 2015 | Philippines vs North Korea | Away Match
October 13, 2015 | Philippines vs Bahrain | Away Match
November 12, 2015 | Philippines vs Yemen | Home Match
March 24, 2016 | Philippines vs Uzbekistan | Away Match
March 29, 2016 | Philippines vs North Korea | Home Match