|The Azkals celebrate after a goal. PFF|
MANILA--After a humbling defeat against Group A host Singapore in their tournament opener, the Philippines vented its ire on Timor Leste with a 7-0 victory in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 group stages at the Singapore National Stadium, Saturday night.
The outcome eclipsed the Azkals' 4-0 rout of Indonesia in the 2014 edition as their biggest win in the said tournament.
With the full three points, the Azkals momentarily placed themselves in 2nd place in Group A, guaranteeing their revival in pursuing their fourth semifinal appearance for this biennial football event.
Martin Steuble opened the goal fest for the Azkals after he converted his long-range effort outside the penalty box off a good feed from Angel Guirado in the 20th minute.
Amin Nazari, the lone scorer for the Azkals against Singapore three nights ago, tallied his second goal for the tournament and for his international record after a heading assist from Guirado left no chance to hold it by Timorese goalie Aderito Fernandes for the 2-0 count in the 31st minute.
Guirado's efforts were finally rewarded in the 35th minute when he headed the ball to put into the goalmouth off a cross from Stephan Schrock from the left flank to triple the Filipinos' lead.
Four minutes later, Patrick Reichelt put a dagger to extend the lead of the Azkals to 4-0 after Steuble successfully passed the ball to him despite being on the brink of being tackled by two red shirts.
Jesper Nyholm scored his first international goal right in his Azkals' Suzuki Cup debut after he easily headed the ball off a corner kick in the 44th minute to make it 5-0 for the Philippines.
Naturalized striker Bienvenido Maranon then listed his first international goal after he easily booted the ball to the defender-less goal post in Timorese territory in the first minute of the first-half stoppage time as the Azkals entered halftime 6-0 up.
Kevin Ingreso ended the scoring barrage for the Azkals as he kicked their 7th goal of the game off a feed from Yrick Gallantes in the 78th minute of the game.
A win or draw against Thailand, which will play Myanmar later Saturday, on Tuesday could solidify the Azkals' credentials to qualify for the knockout stage of the Suzuki Cup.
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