(Photo from AFFSuzukiCup.com)

The Philippine Azkals put up six goals in the first half on their way to a 7-0 thrashing of lowly Timor-Leste and enter the win column in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 at Singapore’s National Stadium.

Martin Steuble, Amin Nazari, Angel Guirado and Patrick Reichelt found the back of the net before debuting Jesper Nyholm and naturalized player Bienvenido Maranon scored their first international goals to cap off a huge first half for the Azkals.

Man of the Match Kevin Ingreso accounted for the other goal which came late in the second half as the Philippines got the full three points and renewed confidence after a 2-1 defeat to host Singapore three days earlier.

It was the Philippines’ most lopsided victory in the history of the competition, eclipsing the 4-0 romp of Indonesia in the group stage of the 2014 Suzuki Cup in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The Azkals also produced their biggest win since 2013 when they cruised past Cambodia, 8-0, in the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

But there’s plenty of work left for the Azkals as the victory served as a virtual workout for a crucial match against Thailand on Dec. 14 that could potentially decide their semifinal fate.

Thailand is playing Myanmar as of posting time.

Steuble launched the Azkals’ assault in the 21st minute, firing a screamer that deflected the gloves of Timor-Leste Aderito Fernandes before hitting the back of the net for the opening goal.

Nazari, the Philippines’ goalscorer against Singapore, made it two in the competition in the 31st with a low attempt which slipped out of the hands of Fernandes for a 2-0 advantage for the Azkals.

Guirado, a substitute against Singapore, delivered his 13th goal in an Azkals shirt with a header that bounced past the goal line in the 35th while Reichelt smashed the fourth score of the contest in the 39th.

Nyholm highlighted his debut with a header off a set piece and Maranon ended the Timor-Leste nightmare in the first half with a shot moments before halftime.

Coach Stewart Hall opted to sit out his regulars after the break, which resulted in a lack of significant action in the final 45 minutes. That didn’t stop the Azkals from scoring as Ingreso converted in the 79th to secure the final tally.

Source: Manila Bulletin (https://mb.com.ph/2021/12/11/azkals-thrash-timor-leste-in-suzuki-cup/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=azkals-thrash-timor-leste-in-suzuki-cup)