CEBU CITY – He questioned if Malaysia deserved the penalty, yet Patrick Deyto hardly complained and delivered anyway.
The Philippine men’s football team goalkeeper made the biggest play that spared the Azkals blushes in a goalless draw with Malaysia in their friendly on Sunday night, saving Safee Sali’s right-leaning penalty attempt in stoppage time.
The Green Archers United star came through with a sensational save despite not totally agreeing with the referee awarding the penalty to Malaysia due to a handball infraction slapped on Azkals skipper Anton del Rosario.
“First of all, I don’t know if it was a penalty or not,” Deyto insisted. “I haven’t seen the video. It would be interesting to review it.”
Video replays clearly showed the del Rosario handball happened outside the box.
He eventually saved the day for an Azkals side that didn’t want to disappoint the home crowd in what served as a sendoff for the team prior to its campaign in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup.
“During penalty, it’s always the kicker who has a lot of pressure,” Deyto said. “It’s fifty-fifty for me. It goes the same way where I’m going or not.”
Still, he faced a top Malaysian striker in Sali, who is one of his country’s top scorers with 21 goals since 2006 and is the Golden Boot winner of the 2010 Suzuki Cup.
“I wasn’t really thinking too much,” added the 23-year-old Deyto, who got the starting nod over veteran Ed Sacapaño. “I just thought I’d gamble on one side and luckily he placed it there. I was really lucky.”
He later dedicated the sensational save to Sacapaño, who also came up with a similar penalty denial two years ago in the same venue, preserving the Azkals’ 1-0 win over Singapore.