Azkals lose to Australians


It was a sad Tuesday for Philippine football as the men and women’s national teams both absorbed defeats in separate international matches.

The Philippine Azkals lost to Australian club Perth Glory FC, 0-2, in a tune-up match at the Quirino Stadium in Ilocos Sur late Tuesday.

The Azkals, composed of veterans and former Under-23 national team players, utilized a defensive play against the visitors but were unable to stop the Australians from scoring two goals late in the game.

In the absence of its key players, which were not released by their respective teams in time for the friendly, the Azkals faced the tough opposition undermanned.

Perth started the match aggressively, sending multiple attacks but central defenders Amani Aguinaldo and Simone Rota held their ground and foiled their rivals’ attempts.

After holding the Australians to scoreless deadlock at the half, the Filipinos initiated offense with Rota attempting a header in the 51st but was unable to connect.

Perth penetrated the Azkals’ defense in the 67th minute courtesy of a run by Joe Knowles to give his club a 1-0 lead toward the dying minutes of the contest.

Young guns Ashley Flores, Daniel Gadia and Jinggoy Valmayor fought valiantly for a chance in the 74th but returned empty handed.

Perth once again found the back of the net with a strike by Richard Garcia in the second minute of stoppage time to seal the win.

The Australian finished its tour in the Philippines with two wins following an initial victory over the UFL All Stars, 2-1, on July 23 and a scoreless draw with Global FC on July 20.

On the other hand, the Philippine women’s national football team also failed to notch a win after bowing to Thailand, 0-4, in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Women’s Championship in Myanmar.

The defending Southeast Asian champions quickly took the lead with consecutive strikes by Pitsamai Sornsai in the 21st and 31st minute, giving the Thais a 0-2 lead at the break.

Kajana Sungngoen and Rattikan Thongsombut added a goal each to seal a convincing win of the Thais against the Filipinas.

The Filipinas are in Group A together with Vietnam, Singapore and Thailand.

They are scheduled to play against the Vietnamese at the Mandalarthiri Stadium in Mandalay, Myanmar at 3 p.m. today.


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