MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine men’s under-22 football team suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Myanmar in their second outing at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games on Wednesday, November 27.
The Goran Milojevic-mentored brigade put up a gallant effort in an attempt to topple Myanmar, which eliminated the Azkals in 2017 with a demoralizing 1-5 drubbing in the group stages.
The Azkals had a couple of chances to draw first blood early in the first half, including Yrik Gallantes’ open header that appeared about to hit the net but went above the crossbar.
Myanmar, a squad that finished 4th place two years ago, posed headaches for the Filipinos as they scored a goal at the 17th minute of the contest when Myat Kaung Khant sneakily fed the ball to Aung Kaung Mann to put them ahead of the Philippines on the scoreboard.
Determined to register the first deadlock of the match, Gallantes never gave up on the play as his cross found last game’s hero, Dennis Chung. The latter set up a glib opening for Justin Baas to drill the ball at the 45th minute before the halftime whistle.
In blitzkrieg fashion, the Azkals turned up the notch in their offense at the start of the second half as veteran midfielder Stephan Schrock manned the attack, while Chung and Baas rattled Myanmar’s defensive unit with their gutsy attempts to take the lead.
Unfortunately for the Azkals, Burmese stalwart Win Naing Tun showed no fear and rammed his defenders to send the ball past keeper Anthony Pinthus for the go-ahead goal at the 77th minute.
The Philippine team tried to salvage another equalizer in the last 10 minutes of the fixture, but Myanmar managed to keep them at bay to become the first team to notch a win in the tourney’s Group A.
Myanmar grabbed the Group A top spot with 4 points and a 1-0-1 slate heading to its third assignment versus Timor-Leste on Friday, November 27 at the same venue.
The Azkals, who scored a draw against Cambodia last Monday, fell to a 0-1-1 record. Their next game is on Friday as well against Malaysia, the runner-up in the last edition. – Rappler.com