Azkals open FIFA World Cup Qualifiers campaign with upset of Bahrain

By Gil Mar Moriones and Rejj Sibayan

BOCAUE--The 137th-ranked Philippine men's football team made a successful debut in the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers as it pulled a 2-1 upset win against 106th-ranked Bahrain at the Philippine Sports Stadium on Thursday night.

Thomas Dooley's early substitution in the 23rd minute, putting in Misagh Bahadoran for an injured Stephan Shrock, worked wonder as the Global star got the ball from Phil Younghusband, who was sent to the defensive midfielder spot, and drilled the opening goal in the 50th minute. It was Bahadoran's first goal as an Azkal.

It was later revealed that Schrock hurt his knee and will be doubtful in the Azkals' match against Yemen on Tuesday.

Ten minutes later, Manny Ott executed a free kick pass to Bahadoran, but the Bahrain defense forced a scramble. Javier PatiƱo saved the day as he finished the play to put the Azkals up, 2-0

Bahrain gave a warning to the Azkals once they play in Bahrain on Oct. 13 as Al-Malood hammered the consolation goal at the second minute of stoppage time.

In Doha, North Korea beat Yemen, 1-0, after the 71st minute goal of Hyuk So-Yun.

North Korea and Philippines currently have three point in the standings.