Bahadoran, Patino spark Azkals to victory in World Cup Qualifiers opener
Santino Honasan on Jun 12, 2015 12:09 AM
WINNING MOVE: Misagh Bahadoran, who came in for Stephan Schrock early in the first half, provided the opening goal for the Azkals
Misagh Bahadoran and Javier Patino scored one goal apiece as the Philippine Azkals begin their road to the 2018 FIFA World Cup with a 2-1 win over Bahrain Thursday night at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The Bahrain nationals were aggressive early on, rifling off attempt after attempt, but were not able to convert thanks to the Azkals’ efforts on defense.
To their credit, the Bahraini squad were also able to prevent the Azkals from getting any shots off, forcing a deadlock by the halftime break.
Midway in the first half, an apparent knee injury forced Stephan Schrock, who made his long-awaited return to the Azkals lineup, to be subbed out, with Misagh Bahadoran taking his place.
The move by Coach Thomas Dooley proved to pay dividends, as Bahadoran opened the scoring for the Azkals, ten minutes into the second half, converting on a cross from Phil Younghusband for his first international goal.
Ten minutes later, the home team doubled their lead as Bahadoran’s attempt at a second conversion was deflected by the Bahraini defense strait into the hands…or feet of prized striker Patino for a two-nil advantage.
The Azkals were on seemed to be on their way to a shutout, as the match went into four minutes of added injury time, but Bahrain’s Al Malood pulled one back in the 92nd minute.
Following the match, Coach Dooley praised his boys, saying that they was happy with the team’s performance in the opener:
“Obviously we’re very happy with the performance that the team did today…I’m very happy with the victory.”
When asked who among his players he thought was the man of the match, the former Team USA skipper had this to say:
“Goalkeeper, the outside back, both sides, centerbacks, the midfields, forwards, everybody. It was a team effort today, we worked so hard. Nobody had a bad day.”
The Philippines won’t have much time to celebrate their win however, as they fly to Doha on Friday, June 12 for their match against Yemen on June 16 at the Suheim Bin Hamad Stadium.