The Philippine men’s Under-22 national football team stumbled anew as it lost to powerhouse Vietnam, 0-4, in the 29th Southeast Asian Games late Sunday at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor, Malaysia.
Unable to match the pace of their opponents, the young Filipino booters absorbed their second straight loss, which pinned them down on the fourth spot in Group B and threatened their hopes of advancing to the semifinals.
Vietnam, on the other hand, bolstered its playoff bid as it continued its group stage domination with a third straight victory.
The Philippines displayed a sturdy defense at the onset until Vietnamese top striker Nguyen Cong Phurong found a way to score the opening goal in the 37th minute.
The bronze finishers in the tournament’s 2015 edition proceeded to widen the gap as Vu Van Thanh found the back of the net in the stoppage time of the first half and Nguyen Van Toan struck his goal five minutes after the restart.
Ho Tuan Tai capped off the romp with a goal in the 89th to seal the crucial win for the perennial contenders.
The men of Marlon Maro next face defending champion Thailand at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the women’s national football squad also springs back to action as it tackles Myanmar at the Universiti Malaya Stadium at a similar kickoff time.