The Philippine Azkals barged into the 2012 Challenge Cup finals by hammering out a sensational 3-0 victory over the Bangladesh Bengal Tigers on Friday.
Filipino-Spanish booter Angel Aldeguer Guirado scored 2 goals while fellow striker Ian Araneta struck 1 to help the Azkals qualify for the tournament proper scheduled next year.
Araneta scored the first goal for the Philippines in the 41st minute after picking up a loose ball off Guirado.
Guirado, a revelation for the Filipino squad, followed this up by heading in a pass from Araneta in the early part of the second half.
The Filipino-Spanish booter struck again in the 80th minute by picking up a loose ball, shooting from 20 yards to the bottom left corner of Bangladesh’s goal.
The Azkals, who were held to two straight draws by Palestine and host country Myanmar, started out aggressively against the hapless Bangladeshis.
The aggressive play resulted in an early injury stoppage that had Bangladesh’s Zahid being carried off the field.
Aside from the consistent offense, the Azkals also set up an indomitable defense with team captain Aly Borromeo, Anton del Rosario and Ray Jonsson, clipping Bangladesh’s wingmen.
The Azkals only scare was Bangladesh’s near score of a loose ball in the first half. Fortunately, Filipino-British keeper Neil Etheridge went out to clear the ball.
The Filipino booters now have a total of 5 points on 1 win and 2 draws to finish as the Top 2 team in their bracket.
Leading the group is Palestine, which defeated Myanmar (3-1) on Friday, for a total of 7 points on 2 wins and 1 draw.
Bangladesh finished 3rd with 3 points (1 win, 1 loss) while Myanmar finished dead last with 1 point (1 draw, 2 losses).
Only the top 2 teams will advance to the 8-team Challenge Cup finals in 2012. - With reports from Dyan Castillejo, ABS-CBN News
(FULLTIME) (Philippines 3- 0 Bangladesh) Angel Guirado Aldeguer 2 goals + Ian Araneta 1 goal. PHL-Azkals advances to the AFC Challenge Cup 2012
(89:00) SUBSTITUTION: Yannick Tuason in for JYH as Philippines wind down the clock with 2 mins stoppage time, looking to top the group.
(88:00) SUBSTIITUTION: Bang making a change but in 88th min and 3-0 it's too late. Barsales, who gave everything, came off for Simon Greatwich.
(84:00) SUBSTITUTION: Simon Greatwich in Barsales out
(79:00) Another Goal by Angel Guirado Aldeguer from just outside the box! (Philippines 3- 0 Bangladesh) - #Azkals toying wth Bangladesh & Guirado picks up the loose ball. Shoots from 20 yards and scores in the bottom left corner! 3-0 #Azkals
(76:00) SUBSTITUTION: Gener comes on for Chieffy who has run his heart out. Gener moves to right back as Del R pushes up and JYH moves to the left. (what a tackle by Lucena, losing his balance but keeping the ball)
(75:00) James with another shot from the edge of the area but the Bangladesh defender gets a block. 75th min (its also worth mentioning the stellar job of the backline of Aly and Sabio,Anton, Ray and Lucena as def midfield)
(74:00) Gener getting ready to come in #Azkals
(73:00) James free inside the area shoots but it hits a defender and Bangladesh clear. Another good chance for the #Azkals who are dominating.
(72:00) great through ball from James for Anton, who sends a low cross from the right but keeper quick to collect as Ian rushes to get a touch.
(70:00) Spoke too soon as Bangladesh have two shots in the space of two minutes. One is straight at Etheridge while the other sails wide.
(69:00) #Azkals still pushing forward & Bangladesh can't find a way back into the game. Great work-rate as #Azkals hold a 2-0 lead in the 70th min.
(65:00) foul for bangladesh. (yellow card for bangladesh player) Anton takes the kick
(62:00) Guirado heads it to Araneta who has a great opportunity but hits the bar! He's caught offside so wouldn't have counted anyway though.
(61:00) ref calls off side for bangladesh..
(60:00) JYH tracks back to tackle the Bangladeshi winger and it's a corner. Taken short but Guirado clears away. Bangladesh long shot goes over.
(59:00) Shouldve been 3-0. quick counter attack Angel releases James on the side, Bang keeper saves shot with his legs. 59th min., PHL 2 - 0 BANG
(56:00) #Azkals well on top as first YH goes through then Del Rosario shoots over. 2-0 and it's the #Azkals who look like scoring next!
(55:00) Corner floated into the back post, Araneta heads it down and Guirado finds space to head it into the back of the net. #Azkals lead 2-0
(54:00) Goal by Angel Guirado Aldeguer! GREAT HEADER (Philippines 2 - 0 Bangladesh)
(53:00) Bangladesh struggling to cope with the #Azkals who are pushing for the second goal. This new attackive style is paying off well!
(51:00) james passes to Ian and Ian Araneta heads the ball. ALMOST got another goal!
(50:00) quiet start to the 2nd half for #azkals. ian gets into dangerous area but loses ball.aly intervenes on a couple of through balls
(49:00) Looks like #Azkals have gone more defensive as Barsales partners Guirado in the centre of midfield. Guirado commits a foul on the 49th min.
(47:00)#Azkals starting brightly still pressing the ball. Borromeo solid at centre-back as all the team are working hard to maintain their lead.
(46:00) Foul by Lucena
KICK-OFF SECOND-HALF: Referee blows to signal the start of the second half, #Azkals leading 1-0
(HALFTIME) Pinoy flags waving here!!! rejoicing 15minute break then 45mins if we win even 1-0 Phils makes history qualifying for challenge cup
(HALFTIME) PHILIPPINES 1-0 BANGLADESH (Ian Bayona Araneta scores!! 41' minutes) that was Araneta's 9th int'l goal and his first since hat-trick vs Timor in Suzuki Cup qualifying last year
(45:00) 1 minute stoppage time a JYH plays in Jonsson who wins a corner.
(43:00) Barsales started move from right, passed to Angel who finds space for a shot that was blocked.
(41:00) Goal IAN ARANETA 41st minute (Philippines 1 - 0 Bangladesh) Guirado with some nice play and the ball is loose. Araneta picks it up and fights hard His shot is deflected but it's in!! PHL 1-0 (Anghel Guirado kicked from more closer than midfieled...scramble for the ball right in front of goal, Araneta got free left kick pasok!!!!)
(39:00) Del Rosario's shot is deflected for a corner Chieffy takes and it swings in dangerously but he keeper collects. 39th minute and still 0-0
(36:00) james free kick good chance go......scarmble in the centre anton attempts but way side
(35:00) A rare loose pass from Aly gives Bangladesh a chance but he makes up for the mistake and tracks back to clear the danger. #Azkals fighting!
(34:00) #Azkals fighting hard for the ball and win a throw-in close to the Bangladesh area. Guirado's shot is blocked and Bangladesh look to counter
(33:00) Araneta threatens to break but flagged offside. 33rd min. 0-0
(32:00) With 32 minutes played Bangladesh have a throw-in on the right side of the #Azkals area. Phils clear but Barsales is muscled off the ball. still 0-0
(29:00) Loose ball nearly sends Bangladesh thru but Etheridge comes out quickly to clear the danger. Throw-in is wasted & #Azkals have a goal kick
(28:00) Lucena dispossessed but recovers ball from Zahid. 29th min.
(27:00) Long-range effort from Bangladesh flies wide. #Azkals with most of the possession and are looking dangerous. #Azkals
(25:00) Araneta well-marked cant get a touch on those crosses. Chieffy working overtime on the left flank 25th min
(23:00) long range strike from Angel easy save by Bang keeper. James earns foul for 25-yard free kick
(22:00) Great ball by James finds Chieffy with space to cross. His cross takes a deflection & spoons into the air but the Bangladeshi keeper catches
(21:00) Received by James with a header but Araneta didn`t receive
(18:00) Great knock from Borromeo finds Jonsson but his pass is loose and Bangladesh look to counter but are caught offside again.
(17:00) Chieffy eludes 2 defenders and delivers low shot from tight angle saved by Bang keeper. still 0-0 17th min
(16:00) free kick Bangladesh from 35 yards easily collected by Neil
(15:00) Bangladesh freekick is hit at goal but Etheridge takes the bounce well. Chieffy breaks but his cross goes loose as no-one is in the box.
(14:00) Great ball from Guirado to Chieffy. He lays it back to Jonsson whose cross is too close to the goal but curls dangerously close 15th min 0-0
(12:00) Zahid with a shot on goal. brilliant stop by Neil Etheridge 12th min 0-0
(11:00) Both the full-backs, Del Rosario & Jonsson, are bombing down the wings. Chieffy crosses again but it's headed away for a Bangladesh throw-in
(10:00) Philippines on top finding space and pushing the play. Bangladesh still looking for the counter-attack but Borromeo is keeping them at bay.
(09:00) header by Aly then header by james pass to center but bangladesh received
(07:00) Chieffy's floats in a great right-footed cross but the keeper touches it just beyond the reach of James YH. Still 0-0 into the 7th minute.
(04:00) Guirado with an early shot but straight into the keeper's hands. Bangladesh back to 11 players.
(03:00) Niel wearing black shorts and whtie top. steal by jason sabio ball philipines to chiefy to ian
(02:00) The Philippines showing their intent early on, pressing high trying to attack. Bangladeshi player stretchered off early receiving treatment.
(01:00) Phils ball rey throw in
(4:56pm) The Bangladesh keeper Mamun is as tall as Neil Etheridge (About 30 to 40 filipinos in the stadium, Azkals playing in carabao grass. field not as level as in Thuwana with a few humps. Aung San Stadium was built in 1930)
(4:55pm) Bangladesh flag & Phil flag now being brought out, national anthems being played, then game on
(4:50pm) Players come out on the pitch to a small but lively crowd; 10 minutes to kick off, sun came out its pretty hot
(4:45pm) additional motivation for team, Manager Dan Palami will give $1000 bonus to every team member if we win (but more than the bonus players really want to win, make history , go to challenge cup for the first time, big step up Phil football)
(4:43pm) Team sheet read out in the stadium as #Azkals go back to the dressing room for last words from Coach Weiss and Manager Palami.
(4:40pm) SUBS: Gener, Hinrichsen, S.Greatwich, Margarse, Sacapano, Espinosa & Tuason. Simon is available despite reports he is suspended. He is a sub.
note: Studio 23 will be airing PHILIPPINES VS PALESTINE on Tuesday, March 29, from 4:00 PM - 6:30 PM. (PHILIPPINES vs. BANGLADESH airing.. to be announced)
(4:13pm) Players on the field warming up, PHL blue, Bangladesh red and green top
(4:03pm) Heading to the stadium now anticipating a great game with both teams needing a win to guarantee qualification. Should be an exciting match!!
(4:02pm) We can expect Bangladesh to "park a bus "in front of the goal but the Azkals clearly will be all-out for goals from the very start.
(4:00pm) Just an hour before kick-off and tension is building. With nearly a full squad there is no excuse as the #Azkals need a win to qualify
(3:30pm) Jerry Lucena’s role today will be crucial in providing cover for the more attack-minded full-backs Del Rosario and Jonsson pushing for goal.
(3:10pm) Starting line-up from Manager Dan: Etheridge, Del Rosario, Borromeo, Sabio, Jonsson, Lucena, Younghusband, Caligdong, Guirado, Araneta, Barsales.