As he watched the Philippine national men’s football team’s 1-0 victory over Vietnam from the standed, coach Hans Michael Weiss lauded the Azkals’ performance rebounding from a 2-1 opening defeat to Thailand in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup.
Weiss, who was suspended for throwing the ball at a fallen Thai player in the Azkals opener, picked midfielder Patrick Reichelt as the best player in their triumph.
“For me, he is the man of the match. I’m very proud of the boy,” Weiss said of Reichelt, who lost some of his teeth last Monday during a collision in practicy.
He went to the hospital for treatment the morning of the match.
Weiss also praised late substitutes Angel Guirado, Denis Wolf, and team captain Chieffy Caligdong, who scored the Azkals’ lone goal at the 85th minute.
“You can say that they changed the match,” he said. “The only thing that I was hoping was that the defense and offense will get better. We have to make changes quickly, and changed three players in quick time.”
Azkals defenders led by Rob Gier and Juani Guirado withstood the series of Vietnam attacks throughout the match, drawing praise Weiss.
“That won’t be possible without a fantastic defensive line, back four,” he said. “Big complement on the team. Fantastic performance.
“No fear. These are the people you need.”
With a semifinal stint within reach, Weiss hopes the Azkals can carry their momentum to their final match against Myanmar.
“We are back in the race and we are now playing against a strong Myanmar side. Hopefully, we succeed to the semifinals,” Weiss said.