Azkals fall to China as Wu Lei scores brace

MANILA, Philippines – Wu Lei lifted China to its second win in the 2019 Asian Cup over the Philippine Azkals, 3-0, on Friday, January 11 at the Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi. 

China remains at the top of Group C with 6 points while the Philippines stays at the bottom with no point and a -4 goal difference. 

China took the lead in the first half thanks to Wu's 40th minute goal that was taken just inside the box. 

Wu doubled the lead in the 65th minute as Hao Junmin's cross found the Chinese Super League topscorer who converted a volley. 

In the 80th minute, Yu Dabao added to the Azkals' heartbreak by heading the rebound into the back of the net. 

The Azkals' second straight loss in the tournament puts in peril their chances to get out of the group stage. 

The Philippines failed to capitalize on its good attacking spells which saw Patrick Strauss set up Javier Patiño for a shot on-target which got blocked by Feng Xiaoting in the 22nd minute. 

During added time in the first half, Ingreso attempted to equalize with a left-footed strike from beyond the box which was saved at the top-center of the goal. 

The Nationals failed to match China's momentum in the second half as the Chinese threatened the Azkals back line. 

After conceding their third goal, Stephan Schrock created a chance to stun the Chinese with a cross to Patrick Reichelt but it missed the winger by a few seconds.

The Azkals will aim to close out the group stage with a must-win over third-placer Kyrgyzstan to keep their Round of 16 hopes alive.  – Rappler.com

Beatrice Go

More commonly known as “Bee”, Beatrice is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Phillippine sports governance, national teams, football and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.

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