Azkals give a tough fight to Australia U-23 team, loses 0-1


In their last football friendly in the preparatory camp in Dubai, the Azkals gave a brave fight to the Australian Olympic team but lost 0-1.

The goal for Australia was scored by Jason Hoffman due to a defensive blunder by the Philippines. After that they were repeatedly frustrated by the much improved defense of the Azkals. But it must be said that the Olyroos (Australian U23 soccer team) dominated the proceedings completely in the first half with a 68 percent possession.

Denis Wolf was the lone fighter upfront to impress but he could do nothing all alone as his partner Ian Araneta was found wanting.

Going into the second half, coach Weiss made changes who is know for making little changes or only in the end. He replaced Ian Araneta with Martin Doctora who proved great in organizing the defensive midfield and providing feeds for attack.

One hour into the game, the Azkals started to play open football. All this while they were trying to keep the sheet look good but now they started pressing upfront which put Australia under pressure.

At the 72nd minute Weiss made his second substitution, taking out Misagh Bahadoran for Joshua Beloya, while a wincing Angel Guirado was left on the pitch. Soon after, Lexton Moy came in for Marwin Angeles.

Hereafter, the Azkals looked really impressive and came close to equalizing at least twice.

Joshua Beloya almost scored late in the game after receiving a pass from Lexton Moy inside the penalty area. His shot, however, went over the cross bar.

Dennis Wolf also came close to scoring a goal after evading the Australian defense but was stopped in the penalty area.

With this loss, the Azkals wrapped up their Dubai camp with 1 win against Al Ahli SC and 2 losses against Uzbekistan and Australian Olympic teams.

The will now travel back to Manila and regroup for a friendly match against Malaysia on 29th february.



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