Azkals barge to win column with rout of Brunei

The Philippine Azkals barged into the win column in style, clobbering Brunei, 5-1, and defended their home turf in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Friday, Dec. 23.

Sandro Reyes celebrates after scoring the Philippine Azkals' second goal (Ali Vicoy)

Dictating the pace with their swift but disciplined assault, the Filipinos made a strong rebound from 2-3 setback in their opening game against Cambodia to secure full three points and stay in the hunt for the top two spots in Group A.

Kenshiro Daniels picked up where he left off, drilling his third goal of the tournament following a quick counter from the Filipinos at the seventh minute before Sandro Reyes rifled in a long shot – his first international goal – to give the Azkals a commanding 2-0 lead five minutes after.

Brunei had its chances in the first half, but most of its efforts went futile as its attempts just landed straight to the hands of Azkals goalkeeper Julian Schwarzer who took over for Kevin Mendoza who surrendered two goals last time out.

Jesus Melliza also scored his first international goal when he opened the scoring in the second half by unleashing a left footed strike at the 50th minute.

Sebastian Rasmussen then capped off the masterful performance with a brace, piercing through the hands of Brunei’s goalie for his first point at the 51st minute before finding the back of the net once more at the 88th minute.

Razimie Ramlli gave Brunei its lone goal on a close range attack at the 70th minute.

The Azkals, now with three points across the board with a 1-1 record, resume their chase for a semis spot against Thailand at the Thammasat Stadium on Monday, Dec. 26.