Philippine under-19 national team striker Matthew Custodio scored a double to lift his side to an opening day victory against Brunei, 2-1, in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) U19 Championship at the National Sports Complex Stadium in Vientiane, Laos.
Custodio removed the lid off the goal of Brunei in the 32nd minute after connecting with a well-timed pass by Global FC young gun Mark Winhoffer, giving the Philippines a 1-0 edge midway through the first half.
Another goal immediately followed for the young Filipino booters as the pair once again linked in the 42nd minute of their match-up to double their advantage going into the break.
Brunei came back with a vengeance as they game reopened for the second half, with hopes of toppling the lead of the Philippines, as Muhammad Abdul Mateen Sai found the back of the net to cut the deficit to a solitary marker in the 55th minute.
Both squads engaged in an exchange of raids on the opposing territories in the entirety of the final half but kept on firing blanks on each other’s goals as no more additions to the score line were registered before the end of regulation.
The Philippines U19 football team are on a high after clinching a victory in their first outing and now holds the provisional top spot of Group A, which also houses Thailand, Cambodia and hosts Laos.
The Philippines will face Southeast Asian powerhouse Thailand on August 26 at the National Sports Complex Stadium in Laos.