MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) – The Philippine Azkals rode on Dennis Wolf’s hat trick and steamrolled Macau, 5-0, in the 4-nation Philippine Football Peace Cup at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Thursday.
The 29-year-old Filipino-German ended his 7-month scoring drought with 3 goals against the hapless Macau team.
Wolf, who hasn’t scored since their game against Malaysia last February, broke free from Macau’s defenders to knock in the first goal in the 21st minute.
|The Azkals' Dennis Wolf breaks free from Macau's defenders to score one of his three goals during Thursday's Philippine Football Peace Cup. The Philippines won, 5-0. Photo by Mark Cristino for ABS-CBNnews.com
He raised their advantage to 2-0 in the 45th minute when he untangled himself from a bunch of defenders and shot the ball to the back of the net.
In the second half, it was Carli de Murga’s turn to score as he recovered a loose ball off Macau’s deflection and converted it into a goal in the 48th minute.
This pushed the Azkals ahead, 3-0.
Wolf struck again 15 minutes later via a cross from Demetrious Omphroy.
It was his first international hat trick.
A short corner play between Jeff Christiaens, OJ Porteria and Patrick Reichelt resulted in another Philippine goal in the 68th minute.
Christiaens passed to Porteria, who crossed for the Filipino-German.
Reichelt, the lone scorer for the Azkals against Guam, flicked the ball in to make it 5-0 for the Azkals.
The Philippines was clearly the busier team with 17 attempts at the goal against Macau’s 5.
Of the Azkals’ attempts, 14 were on target.
Wolf was happy over his first international hat trick. He said he couldn’t have done it without his team mates.
“I received good passes from Omphroy, from Reichelt. I think the communication between us is very good. It has to be better and it will be better,” he said.
Wolf’s accomplishment wasn’t possible without a few bruises. Shortly before he scored his first goal, he sustained a small cut in the head.
“It happened really fast, I don't know [how] anymore but then I saw blood in my hand. I was going to the referee and ask why he couldn't see that but it's ok. No pain anymore,” said the Filipino-German.
The Philippines is now at the top of the table with 6 points (2-0-0), followed by Chinese Taipei with 4 points (1-1-0).
Macau ranks 3rd with 1 point (0-1-1), while Guam is at the bottom with 2 defeats.
The Azkals will next face Chinese Taipei on Saturday.
The Filipinos will need at least a draw to win the Philippine Football Peace Cup.
“We look forward to Saturday, we have another match, which we want to win of course,” said Wolf. “[The Philippine Football Peace Cup] would be my first title also that's why I want to win this game.”