NBA
Third Division German squad toys with Azkals
- Olmin Leyba () - June 26, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - German third division side SV Darmstadt 98 handed the Philippine men’s football team a 5-0 setback as the Azkals wrapped up their two-week training camp in Germany yesterday.

The Lillies pounced on the absence of Phl defenders Ray Jonsson and Stephan Schrock to create scoring opportunities, consummating on five attacks at the goal to take the fight out of the Azkals in the test match.

According to Darmstadt’s website, the Lillies knocked down four goals in the first 14 minutes, with newcomer Marcus Steegmann breaking the ice in the eighth minute, followed by Oliver Heil (12th), Henry Onuwzuruike (14th). Markus Brüdigam connected on the 24th as the Lillies made it 4-0 at halftime. Christopher Huebner accounted for Darmstadt’s fifth goal.

“Lesson learned to fine tune things. This could be the motivation we need,” Phl XI co-skipper Aly Borromeo posted on his Twitter account after the game.

It was the second straight loss for the Azkals in their four-match slate in Germany, coming after their 0-4 beating at the hands of Bundesliga second division side FC Ingolstadt 04. They previously disposed of Duren selection and the SC Bonner Under-19 side via identical 4-1 scores.

“We’re not worried even if we lose in practice games. This is part of our preparations and things like these (loss) really happen if competition is quite strong. The best thing is you learn from it and move on,” said Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta.

Araneta expressed confidence the Azkals will come out from their setbacks wiser when they go into actual battle against the Sri Lanka Brave Reds on June 29 in Colombo and July 3 in Manila.

“Remember when the team lost to a Thai club in a friendly, 8-0, before heading to Vietnam for the AFF Suzuki Cup last year?” Araneta said, referring to the fruit of that tuneup, a historic first-ever semifinal appearance in the biennial meet for the Azkals, spurred by a monumental 2-0 upset of then defending titlist and host Vietnam.

“I’m sure they’ll learn from this and bounce back,” he added.

The Azkals left for Colombo, Sri Lanka via Frankfurt, Germany and Dubai yesterday.

“The players are in high spirits after their camp in Germany, according to (team manager) Dan Palami. The players are blending in, especially the new additions,” Araneta said.

ALY BORROMEO ARANETA AZKALS BONNER UNDER CHRISTOPHER HUEBNER COLOMBO AND JULY DAN PALAMI DARMSTADT GERMANY AND DUBAI HENRY ONUWZURUIKE LILLIES
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