Azkals goal-keeper Patrick Deyto (45) saves the penalty kick against Malaysia. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
MANILA, Philippines – Goal-keeper Patrick Deyto is making a case for his inclusion in the line-up of the Philippine national football team in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives next month.
Deyto was the hero of the Philippine Azkals’ goalless draw against Malaysia Sunday night, saving a penalty kick by Safee Salih at the 90th minute in their friendly at the Cebu City Sports Center.
“I just guessed the left side, and I was lucky he took it there,” Deyto said after the match. “I extended my hand, and good thing it stayed out.”
The Azkals were aggressive throughout the match, repeatedly attacking the Malaysia goal but were unlucky as they could not find the back of the net.
“I think it would be harsh for us to lose this game. I think we are deserving of a win… So we should have gotten at least a draw here,” said Deyto, who registered his second consecutive clean sheet for the national team.
Azkals head coach Thomas Dooley has yet to reveal his line-up for the Challenge Cup, but Deyto is hopeful that his recent performances have caught the attention of the staff.
“No one is guaranteed a spot in the Challenge Cup. We have to prove ourselves some more,” said the keeper. “But hopefully, I make the team.”
“The team’s chances (in the Challenge Cup) are really good,” he added. “You can see how we’re playing, you see the team get better each and every time. So hopefully, we win the Challenge Cup.”
Deyto, who plays for Green Archers United F.C. in the United Football League, received praise from several players following the game, with Azkals first-choice goal-keeper Neil Etheridge sending his congratulations.
He later dedicated his performance in the game to another Azkals goal-keeper, Eduard Sacapaño, who memorably saved a penalty kick by Singapore in a 2012 match, also in Cebu City.
“This penalty save was dedicated to Eduard Sacapaño who did the same here two years ago,” tweeted Deyto, adding the hashtag “inspiration.”