AZKALS Ratings: Sean Kane shines in debut, Dennis Villanueva continues to unimpress.

If it wasn’t for a late Mike Ott goal, things would have been more complicated for the Azkals in qualifying from Group F.


NEIL ETHERIDGE (6.5): The Cardiff City number one was competent when called upon snuffing most of the Yemenis 5 shots on target for the night but otherwise had very little to do.

SIMONE ROTA (6.5): It was a solid performance for the Fil-Italian in his return from injury, playing in his familiar RB position for the National Team. Had little to do for most of his shift with the bulk of Yemen’s attack much more focused on the left flank.

DENNIS VILLANUEVA (3.5): Where do I begin? That sloppy pass that almost led to a goal with nothing but the crossbar to thank for keeping the scores level. Sloppy passing and bad positioning was the order of the day. Overall it was a bad day at the office for the Global Cebu man and I have to wonder how he keeps getting the nod to start after his nervy performances the past couple of games.

SEAN KANE (7.5): The JPV Man has been a breath of fresh air in his Azkals debut, deputizing for the still injured Amani Aguinaldo. Calm and collected in possession and resolute in defense, snuffing every chance that Yemen threw at him. A complete opposite of his defensive partner. A headed goal line clearance when it seemed that Yemen would surely score was one of the highlights of the night.

DAISUKE SATO (6): Returning from a lengthy injury, the AC Horsens left back was a very busy man as Yemen seemed to prefer his side to attack. Lucky not to be called for a penalty for a late tackle in the first half, was very active going forward but overall a good solid display in defense.

KEVIN INGRESO (5): The Ceres Negros star was largely ineffective for the night, getting out muscled easily by the physical Yemenis and giving possession away too easily. Had very little to offer in attack with most of his passes going wayward or getting intercepted by the opponent’s defense.

PAUL MULDERS (6.5): Filling in for the injured Manny Ott, the veteran looked 10 years younger with a vintage display. Tracking back on defense and was responsible for the assist on the equalizer.

HIKARU MINEGISHI (5): It was a quiet night for the Global Cebu talisman, being played out of position as a strike partner to captain PYH. Troubled the Yemen defense a few times with his passing but was largely invisible as he was denied the space he needed to operate effectively.

IAIN RAMSAY (6):  With Phil Younghusband being unable to provide an outlet, the attack went through the Ceres FC man and he troubled his Yemeni counterparts with his pace and direct running but his industry was all for naught with the lack of runners inside the box for him to deliver his quality service.

MIKE OTT (6.5): The younger Ott was quiet for most of the game, unable to create chances for himself or his teammates. Played out wide by Thomas Dooley, the AnThong man’s tendency to cut inside created a log jam in the middle occupying the same space Pika and PYH operated in. Found himself unmarked in the 88th minute after a scramble in the box, burying Paul Mulder’s assist in the bottom corner to salvage a point for the Azkals.

PHIL YOUNGHUSBAND (5): The captain had a quiet game and was shutdown by the Yemeni defense with 5 men collapsing on him whenever he had the ball, preferred to sit in the hole instead of lurk inside the box, was unable to pull off a shot nor create any chances for his teammate but came through in the 88th minute with a pass to Paul Mulders for the assist to the equalizer after some good hold up play in the box.

JUNIOR MUNOZ (5): Partially responsible for the Yemen goal after failing to clear the corner that found Tawfiq Ali for the go ahead goal. Redeemed himself in the dying minutes with his great run forward that started the string of passes for the equalizing goal.

CURT DIZON (5): Replaced Iain Ramsay late for his NT return. Was largely quiet and had little time to impress.

JAMES YOUNGHUSBAND (N/A): Came in late for debutant Sean Kane, had one clearance and a few touches in his cameo.


COACH THOMAS DOOLEY (4.5): TD getting the result is the only reason he isn’t rated any lower. Starting Sean Kane was a stroke of genius, keeping Dennis Villanueva in the starting lineup was not. Questionable substitutions starting with subbing out Rota during the opponent’s deadball situation which lead to a goal, pulling out Iain Ramsay who at that point was the biggest threat in attack and subbing out Sean Kane instead of Dennis Villanueva.

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