Azkals survive late scare in friendly win over Fiji
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals bested Fiji, 3-2, in an international friendly held on Thursday, March 22 at the Rizal Memorial Football stadium.
Goals from Captain Phil Younghusband (29'), Pika Minigeshi (52') and Kevin Ingreso (61') sealed the win for the Philippine Azkals.
Fiji scored its first goal in the 74th minute where Ame Votoniu found Nick O'Donnell down on the ground and capitalized on the situation by slotting it home. The visiting team doubled the score via a penalty kick by Roy Krishna in the 79th minute.
This was labeled as an International Friendly "A" match. This was the second time the Azkals will play against a team from the Oceania Football Confederation.
This friendly will prepare the Azkals for their upcoming crucial AFC Asian Cup qualifying match against Tajikistan on Tuesday, March 27 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The Azkals dominated most of the possession in the first half. In the 28th minute, Misagh Bahadoran won the penalty after being fouled by Kolinio Sivoki. Phil Younghusband took the spot kick and converted it for his 49th international goal and gave Azkals the 1-0 lead.
The Azkals created another chance in the 44th minute that saw Bahadoran pass it to Simone Rota who curled it in but his shot failed to find the back of the net.
Pika Minigeshi came off the bench for Iain Ramsay at the start of the second half. In the 52nd minute, Minigeshi fired from the left flank and Epeli Loaniceva fumbled with his handling which saw the ball sail in to double the Azkals' lead, 2-0.
In the 61st minute, Kevin Ingreso scored off a rebound from out-of-the-box that tripled the Azkals' lead, 3-0.
In the 79th minute, Nick O'Donnell was booked with a yellow for diving onto a mid-air clash with Krishna. It was Krishna who converted the spot kick to cut Fiji's deficit to one, 3-2. – Rappler.com