Heavy rains could not stop the Philippines’ downpour of goals.
The Azkals endured more than an hourlong delay due to bad weather en route in their 8-0 demolition of Cambodia in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifiers Sunday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
Phil Younghusband led the Azkals with four goals, while new recruit Javier Patiño nailed two. Stephan Schrock and Carli de Murga also chipped in one goal apiece for the Azkals.
The Philippines went on the attack early against the park-the-bus defense of Cambodia, leading to several chances at the goal. Star midfielder Stephan Schrock provided the spark for the Filipinos, putting on a show with his ability to slice through defenders to trigger the host’s offense.
Younghusband finally broke the silence for the Azkals at the 25th minute, flipping in a shot right in front of the goal off a Carli de Murga cross to give the Filipinos a 1-nil lead.
Just minutes after, Younghusband curled a shot from the top of the box after nifty passing by the Filipinos in the midfield.
Younghusband then bagged his hat trick at the 34th minute after burying a header that bounced off the goal line.
New recruit Javier Patiño made his presence felt right before the break, as Schrock and Younghusband conspired in a play inside the box. That led to an easy goal for the Spanish striker who lifted the Azkals to a 4-0 lead.
A brownout then occurred right before halftime, with the lights from the grandstand going off. That delayed the match for almost 10 minutes before action finally resumed and the halftime whistle was finally called.
The Azkals continued their dominance after the break, with Schrock slotting in a goal at the 46th minute.
Patiño then scored at the 57th minute to lift his team to a 6-nil lead.
As heavy rain poured, referees were forced to suspend the match again at the 65th minute after deeming the pitch as unplayable. Two 30-minute suspensions were called before action resumed again.
The attack continued for the Azkals as the action resumed, as Younghusband, Patiño and Angel Guirado barely missed their shots.
Paul Mulders was then slapped with a red card at the 85th minute after accidentally hitting a Cambodian player as he cleared the ball.
Despite playing with just 10 men, the Azkals still found their rhythm quickly, as Schrock threw a cross to Younghusband, who nailed an easy goal at the 86th minute.
Carli de Murga then hit the back of the net at the 90th minute to seal the Azkals’ victory.
The Azkals will next face Turkmenistan on Tuesday.