RP booters overwhelm Timorese
() - November 15, 2006 - 12:00am
BACOLOD — The Philippine team stuck to an aggressive stand throughout to fashion a 7-0 shutout of Timor Leste Tuesday in the Asean Football Championship’s final qualifying at the Panaad Sports Complex here.

The Filipinos were on the attack mode from the very start, repeatedly shredding the Timorese defense to fashion the win that is only their second in the five-team Asean Football Federation event formerly known as the Tiger Cup.

Fil-Britons Phil Younghusband and Chris Greatwich led the home side that churned out the goals with relative ease, with the former, a 19-year-old reserve at Chelsea, scoring four and Greatwich one to go with an assist.

The count was already 4-0 at the half before left winger Chipi Caligdong, who scored the marginal goal in their 2-1 win over the same foe in the 2004 version of the biennial meet, turned in a header off James Younghusband’s perfect cross lob to cap the massacre in the 82nd minute.

The task is far from done for the hosts, however, as they still need to win over Cambodia on Saturday and Brunei on Monday to aspire for a top two finish in the event presented by the Philippine Football Federation, hosted by the Negros Occidental Football Association and sponsored by Pepsi, Mizuno, Gatorade, PLDT, Premier Water, Petron, Palmas del Mar and GMA Radio Network.

Only the top two here advance to the tournament proper set in January.

"Our team knows what’s at stake in this match and so we made a conscious effort to be assertive in this game. Luckily, it paid off," said RP coach Aris Caslib following the win that partially erased the stigma of a 1-2 loss to Laos on opening day last Sunday.

The defeat was the second in as many games for Timor and coach Almerio Isaac said the loss of defender Eduardo Pereira to a red card in their 2-3 loss to Brunei also last Sunday and the absence of star player Alfredo Esteves, currently with his Portuguese club team, greatly affected their chances.

Plus the fact the Philippines proved too superior on all fronts, with keeper Michael Louie Casas easily saving or clearing the four chances Timor had in the game watched by more than 12,000.

"The Philippines is a good team, good in all positions and has a good technical knowhow," said Isaac through an interpreter.

This readily showed when the Filipinos made sure the ball stayed on their opponents’ side of the pitch from the get-go, the younger Younghusband breaking the ice with a left-footed dribbler off Greatwich’s feed in the 22nd minute.

He followed that up three minutes later with a bullet of a penalty kick and followed up Greatwich’s goal off Jeffrey Liman’s pass with a left-footed looper just outside the penalty box to complete his hat-trick in the 36th minute and make it 4-0.

ALFREDO ESTEVES ALMERIO ISAAC ARIS CASLIB ASEAN FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP ASEAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION CHIPI CALIGDONG EDUARDO PEREIRA FIL-BRITONS PHIL YOUNGHUSBAND AND CHRIS GREATWICH GREATWICH JAMES YOUNGHUSBAND JEFFREY LIMAN
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