Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times
2019 AFC Cup Qualifiers – Philippines def Tajikistan – Azkals
2019 AFC Cup Qualifiers – Philippines def Tajikistan – Azkals


Phil Younghusband’s 50th international goal seal Azkals’ maiden entry to Asian Cup

The ghosts of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup final have finally been vanquished

For the first time in its history, the Philippines is set to compete in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after a 2-1 win over Tajikistan, Tuesday night at the historic Rizal Memorial in Manila.

Kevin Ingreso’s double act and Phil Younghusband’s spot-kick allowed the Azkals to finish top of Group F with 12 points.

The result is a landmark moment for Philippine football, as it is the first time both the Azkals and the Philippine Women’s National Football Team are set to compete in their respective Asian Cups with the latter’s campaign set to begin next month.

I just want to read a couple of names: Simone Rota, Philip Younghusband, Dennis Villanueva, Sean Kane, Kevin Ingreso, Manuel Ott, Mike Ott, Daisuke Sato, Javier Patino, Patrick Reichelt, Neil Etheridge, Misagh Bahadoran, Iain Ramsey, James Younghusband, Pika Minegishi, Jeffrey Christiaens, Carli de Murga, Junior Munoz, Stephan Palla, Patrick Deyto, Nick O’ Donnell, Curt Dizon, Kenshiro Daniels, and Fitch Arboleda. Those are the guys that made history tonight,” proclaimed Azkals coach Thomas Dooley. “Those are the guys who are our best players at the moment in the Philippines and I’m really, really proud of those guys.

Following a goalless first half, Dooley’s men went close to breaking the deadlock when skipper Younghusband was through on goal, only for the Davao Aguilas star to shoot painfully wide and for the opportunity to go begging. Younghusband then had a free kick that went straight into the hands of Tajikistan goalkeeper Mahkamov Abouaziz.

#ReadMore  Kenneth Ighalo misses birth of first-born as he is inside PBA bubble

Afterwards, things did not go to plan for the Azkals in the 62nd minute. Ingreso’s clumsy tackle in the Philippines box was spotted by referee Jarred Gillett, which led to a penalty. Nazarov Akhtam then coolly converted the spot-kick in the 64th minute.

The Rizal Memorial was stunned. The fans who packed the grandstand tried to roar the Azkals back to life. Manuel Ott had a sniff at goal from outside the box, but his attempt failed to hit the target. Nevertheless, salvation was about to arrive.

While Ingreso was at fault for the penalty, the Ceres Negros stalwart redeemed himself in the 73rd minute. Iain Ramsay produced a fantastic cross from the left flank that met an unmarked Ingreso, who headed the ball home, much to the delight of the thousands of fans in attendance.

Ingreso’s goal was the clincher, while Phil Younghusband’s late penalty was the insurance. Patrick Reichelt, who replaced Mike Ott early in the second half, was fouled in the Tajikistan box. Gillett showed no hesitation once again to point to the spot, and Younghusband scored his 50th international goal to give the Azkals a first taste of the lead.

With time running out, a scuffle ensued between both teams. Defender Dennis Villanueva and a Tajikistan player were sent off for their part in the scuffle but the result was sealed by then.

The Philippines had finally made it to the Asian Cup.

Right now it’s just after the game, we have the biggest success in the history of Philippine football,” Dooley expressed. “Those guys that I’ve called, those are the new heroes, the new stars that we should focus on. And we will find out what we’re gonna do. What we should do is maybe spend a little bit more time together. That would be nice to have the players a little bit more often and individually as a group in defense, midfield and forward.

“A little bit more talking about what we should do. If we can get that done, there’s a lot we can improve,” added the USA Football legend.

#ReadMore  Rower Cris Nievarez qualifies for Tokyo Olympics

Filipino football fans shall now await the draw for Asian football’s grandest stage, a scenario that was unthinkable a decade ago. The draw for the United Arab Emirates-hosted tournament shall be held on May 4, 2018 in Dubai.

Starting XI:

Philippines XI: Etheridge (GK), Rota, De Murga, Mike Ott, Ramsay, Manuel Ott, Bahadoran, Younghusband (C), Sato, Villanueva, Ingreso.

Tajikistan XI: Abouaziz (GK), Siyovush, Iskandar, Ergashev, Davronov (C), Jahongir, Fathullo, Nazarov, Dzhalilov, Amirbex.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

Tiebreaker Times Logo

You May Also Like


Birmingham City has revealed that Philippine Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is undergoing treatment in an undisclosed facility after contracting coronavirus.  “The Club can confirm...


When the Philippine Azkals step onto the pitch against Guam, Maldives, and China in the upcoming joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC...


There will be a mix of youth and veteran experience when the Philippine Azkals set foot in the Middle East in preparation for their...


When the Philippine Azkals touches down in Doha, Qatar for its training camp from May 18-31, there shall be 26 players who will fight...

2020 Tokyo Olympics

As of publishing, we can hardly wait for 2020 to end. This author is certainly many people share the same sentiment, seeing as how...


When he decides to finally hang up his boots, Neil Etheridge will be remembered as one of the players who brought respect to the...


After 102 appearances across three seasons and two divisions for Welsh club Cardiff City Football Club, goalkeeper Neil Etheridge is starting a new journey...


After days of speculation, the Philippine National Men’s Football Team’s primary goalkeeper has found a new home.  Neil Etheridge completed a transfer from Cardiff...