Azkals crush Guam 3-0 with Guirado double

The Philippine Azkals beat Guam 3-0 in the last of three FIFA-sanctioned games.

Caligdong against Indonesia. Photo from Azkals website

MANILA, Philippines – Two goals by Angel Guirado and one more from Carli de Mulga helped the Philippine Azkals crush Guam 3-0 and celebrate Independence Day in style on Tuesday, June 12.

In the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod, the Azkals dominated the match and could have scored more goals, but despite numerous efforts by the Younghusband brothers and other players, the score stayed at 3-0.

For the first time in this series of three international friendlies, coach Michael Weiss played Phil and James Younghusband as well as first-choice goalie Neil Etheridge from the start, although the team missed two key players through suspension: Chieffy Caligdong and striker Denis Wolf.

Electric start

The Azkals kicked off the game aiming to secure victory as soon as possible, and so they did in less than 15 minutes.

It was only the 7th minute when Angel Guirado, tonight playing alternating positions in the center of midfield and on the left instead of his usual right wing, curled a long shot that looked like a cross and notched it into Guam keeper Dallas Jaye’s top left corner.

Four minutes later, a brilliant team effort by the Azkals and Jerry Lucena on the right flank created an open space for Carlie de Murga to breeze through and beat Jaye with a perfect right-foot shot.

Looking for fast breaks

After scoring the first two goals, the Filipino team relaxed and let their rival take the lead in midfield, where they waited to intercept passes and look for further chances on the fast break.

This way the Azkals, with relatively little effort, were able to get many more opportunities, but it wasn’t Phil’s night.

The star striker clearly wanted to join the party and score, but all his efforts were either cleared by the defense or the keeper, whose good looks enticed a number of female fans on Twitter.

And then it looked like the first half was going to end 2-0, a free kick from the left side from Caraga was hammered with an excellent header by Guirado, who added his second goal three minutes into injury time.

Guam better in second half

After the break, Guam tried to at least pull one goal back but Etheridge kept his cool and the Azkals defense, led by a bandaged Gier after a collision in the first half, was able to clear away the danger.

The Filipinos waited in the middle and kept trying to go for fast breaks and the speed of James Younghusband on the right flank, while his brother Phil was denied again and again by Jaye or his lack of aim.

This tone continued until the end of the game, despite the many substitutions ordered by coach Weiss.

Last of the series of three FIFA-sanctioned friendlies

The Philippine Azkals wrapped up against Guam in Bacolod their series of three FIFA-sanctioned international friendly games, after drawing 0-0 with Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur and 2-2 with Indonesia in Manila.

The results count for the Philippine’s global ranking, currently 149.

Tonight’s 3-0 win is the Azkals’ best result ever against Guam, which the national football team last played over 12 years ago during an AFC Asian Cup qualifier in Vietnam and ended in a 2-0 victory for the Philippines.

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