The Philippine national football team dispatched Yemen, 2-0, to take their second win in the joint 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers in Doha, Qatar on Tuesday.
After a successful home game against Bahrain on June 11, the Azkals continued their winning streak with a display of stellar offense in their meeting with the Yemenis.
The booters from Manila probed the defense of their foes with several attempts to score a goal in the first half but could not penetrate the tight guarding of Yemeni goalkeeper Mohammed Ayash until the halftime break.
As the game entered the second half, Misagh Bahadoran, who scored his first international goal during their last outing versus Bahrain, received a well-timed pass from Javier Patiño, evaded his defender with a nifty turn, and scored the opening goal for the Azkals at the 50th minute mark.
The Yemenis retaliated but to their dismay was intercepted by Azkals shot-stopper Neil Etheridge.
Patiño doubled the lead of the Azkals after a run deep inside the Yemeni territory to set up Iain Ramsay, who then notched his first goal for the Philippines in the 74th minute.
Head coach Thomas Dooley deployed fresh legs as the game entered its final minutes with Patrick Reichelt and Kevin Ingreso substituting goal-scorers Bahadoran and Ramsay.
After finally getting clearance to play for the Philippines, Luke Woodland started his first game for the Azkals, manning the central defensive position in the team’s back-line throughout 90 minutes.
Dennis Villanueva also had his first chance of playing for the team after being sent in to replace Stephan Palla.
The Philippines now occupies in the number two spot with two wins in Group H, trailing by a solitary goal to number one seed North Korea.
Consequently, the Azkals will be on a long break and are scheduled to face world no. 74 Uzbekistan in a home game at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan in September.