The Philippine Azkals chalked their first win in the World Cup and Asian Cup Qualification in defeating Guam 4-1 last September 10th at the Guam Football Association National Training Center in Dededo, Guam.
Angel Guirado put the Azkals on board on the sixth minute into the match and Patrick Reichelt added another one in the 11th minute for a 2-0 lead for the Azkals, heading to the halftime.
Guam scored in the second half courtesy of Marcus Lopez’s penalty kick in the 67th minute for a 2-1 deficit. The visitors quickly countered it with goals from Stephan Schrock and Patrick Strauss recorded in the 71st and 81st minute respectively to put the match out of reach.
“This game was about winning and getting the goal difference back and we got what we came here for,’’ said Azkals head coach Scott Cooper via Inquirer.net on defeating the US territory men’s national football team.
“But we have to look at our finishing, especially when you compare it to Syria, which had seven shots and scored five goals. I can’t say we played badly because we created some chances, but we won’t get a lot of opportunities against the better teams,” Cooper added as the Azkals will face China on their next World Cup and Asian Cup Qualifications on October 15th at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
“I warned the team at the beginning about Guam because they have a lot of spirits,” said Schrock on the same article. “They gave us a great fight and had ideas on where they could capitalize against us.”
“The best feeling in the world is to score for the mother country,” Schrock shared. “We could have done better with our execution, but we all work toward the goal of reaching the next round.”
Despite not playing for the Azkals in the longest time, Guirado remains open for the team as he was quoted in another article, ‘’ I never closed the door on the Azkals.”
Guirado was part of the early iteration of the Azkals back in late 2010s but after Thomas Dooley was named mentor of the squad in 2014, he was not named in the line-up since then until Cooper was named him part of the line-up for the qualifiers.
“The question that bothered me was why was I not given a chance for a long time,” added the Fil-Spanish striker, which was the second-longest tenure player in the team just behind Manny Ott.
Guirado scored 10 goals on 36 appearances for the Azkals.
The 34-year-old is currently playing for Thai Premier League 1 club Chonburi as Cooper assisted Guirado in inking a contract with Thai club.
“He’s not mobile as a [Stephan] Schrock, but he’s got size that we need up front,” Cooper quoted in another article of Inquirer.net as Guirado played for different clubs throughout the years while he was not included in the Azkals call-ups of previous coaches.
“We needed that type of striker. And we’re lucky that he’s in form in Thailand,” Cooper added.