Azkals clinch Suzuki Cup semifinals after Indonesia blowout

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2014 Suzuki Cup

A dominant upended troubled Indonesia 4-0 in group play on Tuesday night, cementing a spot in the semifinals. The controlled the entire match, exceeding their woeful opponents in every aspect.

Philippines controlled the match from the outset but were unable to finish their chances. They were rewarded for their patience in the 16th minute when Firman Utina’s foul resulted in a clear penalty kick. Phil Younghusband converted his 42nd international goal with ease, beginning the Garuda‘s nightmare.

The Azkals dominated after that, with Indonesia unable to keep up. Their only chance to draw even came at the end of the first half, when Sergio van Dijk’s header forced a spectacular save from Filipino goalkeeper Patrick Deyto.

Philippines controlled the pace on the other side of halftime as well, looking comfortable with the ball and eager to score more goals. They doubled their lead in the 52nd minute after Manuel Ott scored a rocket straight into the net from outside the penalty box.

That goal seemed to take whatever wind was left out of Indonesia’s sails as they appeared frustrated, relying on long passes to try to create a desperate chance. A fast restart in the 68th minute expanded Philippine’s lead to three after Martin Steuble caught the entire Garuda defence off-guard, and five minutes later Indonesia were down to 10 men following Rizky Ripora’s ejection.

Manuel Ott’s fine cross to Rob Gier made it 4-0 in the 79th minute, capping off Philippine’s best result ever against their vanquished foes.

The result sees Thomas Dooley’s side book their place in the Suzuki Cup semi-finals, while Indonesia will desperately need a win against hosts Vietnam – and a breakout performance by woeful Laos against the Azkals – on the final day of the round.