The Azerbaijanis gave us a lesson in waiting. This wasn't a particularly fun opponent. Unlike last Saturday, when a feisty, lively, counterattacking Malaysia enthralled fans with uptempo play, this European squad displayed a far different approach in defeating the Philippines 1-0.
Azerbaijan was plodding and patient as they shuffled the ball back-and-forth among the members of the back four. They probed, they hemmed, they hawed, and they at times seemed to want to lull the Philippines to sleep. Berti Vogt's team showed the patience of Job in playing risk-averse Football.
It wasn't pretty. The Philippines did not press the Azerbaijani ball-handlers. That would have been pointless, since they are great on the ball and have good spacing. Rushing up them would have resulted in either a quick escape via a dribble or a neat outlet pass to safety. I suspect Azerbaijan got 65% of the possession, maybe even 70% at times.
The Europeans didn't show tremendous skill once they did have possessionRead More »from Azkals – Azerbaijan Postgame Thoughts: Patience, please