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Exclusive: Gerrit Holtmann scores winning goal as Philippine Azkals beat Mongolia

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Philippine Azkals' Final 12 vs Mongolia. –AZKALS PHOTO

Philippine Azkals’ Final 12 vs Mongolia. –AZKALS PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Gerrit Holtmann delivered the game-winning goal in the nick of time to lift the Philippine Azkals past Mongolia, 1-0, for their first win in Group B of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers third round on Saturday at MFF Stadium in Ulaanbaatar.

With the Philippine men’s football team on the brink of settling for another goalless draw, the Vfl Bochum winger in Bundesliga came to the rescue with a clutch goal outside the box in the 93rd minute that stunned the home team and its crowd.

The Filipino-German made his Azkals debut in dramatic fashion, pushing the country on the cusp of another Asian Cup appearance.

Holtmann, who missed Azkals’ goalless draw against Yemen, gave his team the Group B lead with a total of four markers, ahead of Palestine, which has three as of posting time.

The Philippines will try to clinch a spot in the Asian Cup and Group B’s top seed against Palestine on Tuesday at 12:30 p.m.

Patrick Reichelt had a chance to deliver the national team’s first goal in the 76th minute after he was awarded a penalty kick. 

But Mongolia’s goal keeper Munkh Erdene Enkhtaivan anticipated Reichelt’s attempt and prevented him from scoring.

Thanks to the heroics of Holtmann, Azkals returning coach Thomas Dooley earned his first win with the team four years after Phil Younghusband’s game-winning goal for a 2-1 victory over Tajikistan in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers at Rizal Memorial Stadium.

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Mongolia bombed out of contention with its second loss in the group.

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Exclusive: Kyrgios laughs off wardrobe questions after win – TalkOfNews.com

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Nick Kyrgios has laughed off questions regarding his on-court attire, as he opted to change his shoes and hat before taking a post-match interview following his gutsy performance in the fourth round.

Kyrgios’ detractors were desperate for something, anything, to take the shine off his impressive five-set win, where he battled a shoulder ailment throughout, receiving treatment several times.

But if his win over Stefanos Tsitsipas was a ‘circus’, as the vanquished Greek proposed it was, this was anything but.

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Save for a couple of words with the chair umpire late in the contest, Kyrgios was focused, and almost reserved at times.

Few sports stars are as polarising – and when Kyrgios switched his hat and shoes for a red Jordan brand cap and some matching sneakers, it gave his critics – of which there were fewer than his last match, for obvious reasons – the ammunition they needed.

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Kyrgios books ticket to quarters

On commentary, Aussie legend Todd Woodbridge said that his countryman “might receive a letter in his locker” about the hat and shoe change.

The 27-year-old’s post-win press conference was nothing like the combative environment that it was two days ago, right until the very end.

A reporter posed the idea that Kyrgios invites his own controversy, including an open flaunting of clear wardrobe rules.

“Why then would you walk on to centre court with bright red trainers on and do an interview in a red cap?” Kyrgios was asked.

The reply was typically Kyrgios.

“Because I do what I want,” he responded, before being pressed on whether or not he thought he was above the rules.

“No. I’m not above the rules. I just like wearing my Jordans.”

The line of questioning continued despite a moderator’s attempted intervention, when Kyrgios was quick to correct the journalist that he hadn’t ‘moaned’ about controversy.

“I haven’t moaned. I love it,” he said.

“Yeah, it’s just more attention for me. What’s that saying? Any publicity is good publicity, right?

“Keep doing you then champion,” he said to the question asker before moving on.

Kyrgios will get a day off before facing Chile’s Cristian Garin for a spot in the final four.

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Exclusive: The squad regroups – TalkOfNews.com

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Erik ten Hag was afforded a first opportunity to work with a number of returning Reds at Carrington on Monday.

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Exclusive: De Minaur bundled out of Wimbledon in classic – TalkOfNews.com

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Cristian Garin came from two sets down and saved two match points in the fifth before beating Alex de Minaur to reach his first grand slam quarter-final at Wimbledon.

The unseeded Chilean trailed 5-3 in the first-to-10 fifth-set tiebreaker before winning six straight points to take a 9-5 lead.

He then converted his second match point to advance 2-6, 5-7, 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (6) on Court No.2 after four hours and 34 minutes.

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Garin is the first Chilean man to reach a Grand Slam quarterfinal since Fernando Gonzales in 2009.

The 19th-seeded de Minaur had never lost a set against Garin in three previous meetings and looked set to maintain that streak when he led 3-1 in the third-set tiebreaker. The Australian then held two match points at 5-4 in the fifth.

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