Gerrit Holtmann is worth the wait! The left-footer from VFL Bochum made his debut for the Philippines in style, scoring with his left just outside the box in injury time to lift the dominant Azkals over a game Mongolia, 1-0, in their AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.
The Philippines now lead the group with three points, with Yemen and Palestine yet to play at 5 p.m.
Holtmann, who has been in the PHL Azkals radar since 2018, was the focus of the Mongolia defense early but was able to probe the defense as he sneaked in from the outside but an early shot got blocked.
Still, there were plenty of chances for the Philippines, which had 80 percent of the ball in the first half. Bienvinido Maranon tried to go from distance in the 40th, while Holtmann had another shot just off target late in the first half.
In the second half, Holtmann just missed with the outside of his left, while a pass to Maranon was caught by the keeper. In the 75th, the Azkals got a gold chance when OJ Porteria was fouled in the box, however, a weak shot by Patrick Reichelt was easily saved.
Deep in injury time, another shot by the Azkals was staved off with an instinct finger save by the keeper, who was Man of the Match at that point, but in the next play, Holtmann probed from right flank before
delivering his match-winning goal.