Philippines Player ratings: Azkals flatter to deceive

Despite plenty of attacking verve from Thomas Dooley’s charges, Philippines failed to find the back of the net and allowed Sarawut Masuk to net a 81st-minute winner. Along with Indonesia’s 2-1 victory over Singapore, the Azkals will watch the rest of the tournament from the comfort of their living rooms. 

Roland Muller – 7

Started the game with a good save in the sixth minute from Mongkol Tossakrai and came charging out a few times to save his wobbly defence.

Amani Aguinaldo – 7

Has been the only defensive voice in the Azkals backline throughout the three matches. Could have done with a better partner in the middle of defence. We have to remember, the boy is still only 21.

Marco Cassambre – 5.5

At just 17 years of age, Cassambre is one for the future but this tournament came too early for him. Caught out by the fluidity of the Thai players and was lucky not to have cost his team the game. Will be a key player for Thomas Dooley in two years’ time.

Jeffrey Christiaens – 6

For someone who is not a natural centre-back, Christiaens had a good tournament and once again kept a patched-up Filipino defence intact against the War Elephants.

Kenshiro Daniels – 4.5

Poor game for Kenshiro Daniels. Almost did his team in with a lazy backpass that was cleared in time by Aguinaldo.

Manuel Ott – 7

Tried to take the game to the Thais in the middle of the park and had one of the best chances in the first half when his 28th minute shot went wide. Plenty of energy and zest.

Martin Steuble – 6.5

Along with Ott, Steuble pushed himself to the limit but going up against the movement in the Thai midfield, there was little he could do to affect the final result.

Phil Younghusband – 5.5

Will still be the main man for the Azkals in the next few years but his lack of pace in a midfield role never gave him much of an opportunity to showcase his immense talent. Had a glorious chance on 32 minutes but sent his header awfully wide when unmarked in the penalty box.

Stephan Schrock – 6

With the ball at his feet, The Philippines have no better player to change the game. But having taken a knock early in the first half, the former Bundesliga midfielder seemed content to let his teammates run the show.

Hikaru Minegishi – 7

The former Urawa Reds winger is the best winger Filipino football has produced in recent years. Made some good runs and had two good opportunities to score, only to be let down by poor finishing.

Mike Ott – 6.5

Similar style to his brother and was a tireless worker upfront. Looked a lot better when Misagh Bahadoran came on in the second period but it was too little too late.

Substitutes

James Younghusband (on for Hikaru Minegishi 45’) – 6

His transformation from attacking midfielder to a defender at club level gave him the experience to deal with the speedy Thai midfielders. Neat and tidy. On his way back from the international wilderness.

Misagh Bahadoran (on for Kenshiro Daniels  45’) – 8

Scored in the 2-2 draw against Indonesia and you have to question Dooley’s rationale for dropping him to the bench. Terrorised the Thai defence from the moment he came on. If only he was in from the get go.

Kevin Ingresso – N/A (on for Marco Cassambre 79’)

Photos: Philippines Football Federation