Philippines-China relations

Azkals win vs India 2-0
Azkals defeat India in their 2nd AFC Challenge Cup game, both goals scored by Phil Younghusband

KEEPING WATCH. Ray Jonsson stays with his man at the Azkals' match against Malaysia. February 29, 2012. Emil Sarmiento.

MANILA, Philippines – A well-deserved victory for the Azkals.

The men’s Philippine football team defeated the India Blue Tigers 2-0 at Kathmandu, Nepal in their second game at the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup.

The first goal came early on in the game by way of Phil Younghusband, who blasted the ball into the bottom left corner of the net on the 10th minute, from one of Jason Sabio’s popularly powerful throw-ins.

The striker followed it up with yet another goal on the 73rd minute, off a pass from his brother James. The younger Younghusband danced on the pitch in celebration.

There were other numerous attempts by the Azkals but they could not seem to finish. Younghusband came close to adding another goal earlier, on the 43rd minute, but the ball hit the foot of the India goalie, deflecting the shot.

James Younghusband had a chance for a goal as well from a Misagh Bahadoran assist on the 70th minute, only for the shot to go over the crossbar.

India too had a few dangerous attacks including a shot on target by Chongtham Sushilkumar Singh on the 37th minute, but standout goalkeeper Neil Etheridge effectively shielded the ball. India had another close attempt on the 78th minute but it was again succesfully stopped by Etheridge.

The Azkals played more offensively against India, after primarily playing defense in their first game against North Korea. The Philippine team lost to the stronger, more experienced side, 2-0.

They will next play Tajikistan on Tuesday, March 13. Tajikistan lost to North Korea in their second game against each other, which ensures North Korea a spot in the next round.

The Philippines will need to win their next game to advance with certainty to the next round. If they draw with Tajikistan, the two teams will have a penalty shoot-out to determine who will move on. More to follow. –

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