Manila: The Philippines bounced back from their opening-day defeat to Cambodia by posting a 5-1 win over Brunei Darussalam in their second outing in Group A of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Friday. 

In-form Kenshiro Daniels opened the scoring for Josep Ferre’s side in the seventh minute before Sandro Reyes found the second five minutes later. A left-foot stunner from Jesus Melliza and a double from substitute Sebastian Rasmussen after the interval gave the Azkals a 5-1 win as Razimie Ramlli’s goal proved a mere consolation for Brunei DS. 

The result means the tightly contested Group A now has four teams level on three points as the Philippines joined Indonesia, Cambodia and defending champions Thailand among the nations to have posted a win already in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022. 

Ferre made five changes to the squad that were stunned by Cambodia 3-2 in the opener including Julian Schwarzer who came in to replace Kevin Mendoza in the Philippines goal, while Brunei DS made six changes of their own from the 5-0 defeat to Thailand. 

Pocholo Bugas, another of those changes for the Philippines, orchestrated their opener in the seventh minute as his ball over the defence was latched onto by Daniels, who netted his third of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup 2022, battling Wafi Aminuddin and poking the ball past a hesitant Brunei DS goalkeeper Haimie Abdullah Nyaring.  

The provider almost turned the scorer four minutes later as Bugas ventured into the box and fired from close range, but Haimie did much better this time around to deny the Azkals. However, there was nothing he could have done as Reyes doubled the home side’s advantage in the 12th minute. 

Receiving the ball from Mark Hartmann, the 19-year-old made space for him just outside the area and planted a powerful shot beyond the reach of a diving Haimie. It was Kaya FC-Iloilo youngster Reyes’ first international goal in his seventh cap for the Philippines.  

Daniels could have added another to his tally in the 33rd minute, but Haimie got a strong hand to the United City attacker’s effort from the edge of the box as the players went back into the dressing rooms with the Azkals 2-0 up. 

Ferre took Daniels off at half-time and replaced him with 20-year-old Rasmussen, but there was no let off for the Hornets as two goals in the space of two minutes put the Philippines 4-0 up early in the second half and ended any hopes of a Brunei DS recovery. 

Melliza was the first to beat Haimie five minutes after the restart as the 30-year-old planted a left-foot effort past the Brunei DS goalkeeper. Rasmussen then added another for the Azkals as his strike slipped through the gloves of Haimie into the goal. 

Mario Rivera's Brunei DS side, however, had something to celebrate – a first AFF Championship goal for their country in 26 years. And it was scored by Ramlli as a cross from Hakeme Yazid ended up in the back of the net, going in off the substitute’s knee. 

The Philippines still ended up winning by a four-goal margin as Rasmussen found his second with two minutes left to play after he was slipped through on goal by Oliver Bias.