MATCH REPORT: Philippines 3-0 Guam

SHARJAH, UAE – The Philippines recorded a 3-0 victory over Guam last Friday night to confirm its place in the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifying.

Goals from Angel Guirado and Mark Hartmann sandwiched an own goal from Guam’s Marcus Lopez as the Azkals recorded their third win of the competition.

The victory raised the Azkals’ total to 10 points from seven matches, matching their haul from the 2018 qualifying cycle. The Azkals have one remaining match on Tuesday against Maldives, which lost to China, 0-5, later in the evening.

As it stands, the Azkals have already secured third place in Group A behind Syria and China.

Coach Scott Cooper made a couple of changes to the side that lost to China, 0-2, last Monday. Manny Ott, who arrived last Monday from Malaysia, and Luke Woodland were introduced, replacing the injured Kenshiro Daniels and Mark Hartmann as the Azkals went with a 3-5-2 setup.

Guirado fired the opener after a patient buildup from the back. Jeff Tabinas picked apart the defense with a through ball, releasing Oli Bias on the left. Guirado surged down the middle to meet Bias’ wonderful ball and fired it into the bottom corner to break the deadlock in the 13th minute.

The Azkals were dealt a blow when Luke Woodland had to leave the game due to an injury with Justin Baas stepping in to replace him.

Mike Ott hit the post at first half stoppage time, but Cooper was dissatisfied with the Azkals ability to create more chances. The team reverted to a 4-3-2-1 in the second half. Mark Winhoffer came in for Mike Ott while Jarvey Gayoso replaced the injured Carlie De Murga just before the hour mark.

Winhoffer’s impact was immediate as he seemed to have gotten a touch on Manny Ott’s ball before it hit Lopez’s head for the own goal.

Michael Kempter helped set up the third as his marauding run on the left led to the foul that gave Hartmann a set piece chance. Hartmann went straight at goal from a tight angle as the Azkals completed a sweep of Guam, which they handed a 4-1 defeat in September 2019.