Azkals held to draw in Negros tune-up match

THE Philippine national football team strutted its stuff but was eventually held to a draw at a tuneup match with an “all-star” selection in Negros Occidental Monday.

While the “Azkals” scored four goals in the first half, the Negros team – dubbed the “Asukals” – tied the score in the second half during the game at Panaad stadium.

“It was our test match and the players made a good impression but we could have played with more rhythm,” national coach Michael Weiss commented after the game, a report on the Visayan Daily Star said.

Phil Younghusband scored two goals, while Ricardo Bisete and team captain Aly Borromeo had one goal each for the Azkals, all in the first half.

The “Azkals” Team A, which was fielded in the first 45-minute half of the game, dominated the locals with Phil scoring in the 10th minute, and Bicete scoring four minutes after.

Phil scored his second goal in the 19th minute.

But the “Asukals,” who had only four days of training as a team, scored a goal by La Sallian Aldrin Doleno before the first half ended.

The Azkals’ Borromeo made sure they had the game under control with a goal in the 43rd minute to end the first half, 4-1.

“They dominated us in the first half. Clearly, the Fil-foreign players, have a great influence in the team,” said Fegidero, also a former national coach.

In the second half, Weiss fielded Team B – the chance for the “Asukals” to catch up with an aggressive attack.

Doleno escaped his defenders and scored the his team’s second goal which earned cheers from the bench and their followers from the grandstand.

Wesnecan Jaime Poderoso scored two successive goals to tie the game at 4-all.

“I told the players to give their 100 percent during the game as it is a big opportunity for them to play against the national team,” Fegidero said, adding that Negros players used to compose 60 percent of the national team.

For his part, Weiss did not elaborate about the way Team B played in the second half. “We’re supposed to give every player a chance…the result speaks for itself,” he said.

The Azkals will play another friendly game on Thursday, this time against the Korean-reinforced team from Iloilo’s Central Philippine University.

The game will be played once again at the stadium at 4 p.m. Julian Labores

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