SEA Games 2023

Azkals dim SEA Games medal hopes, suffer 0-3 stunner to Timor-Leste

JR Isaga

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Azkals dim SEA Games medal hopes, suffer 0-3 stunner to Timor-Leste

STUNNED. Pocholo Bugas of the Philippine Azkals navigates the ball against a Timor-Leste defender


The Philippine Azkals U22 practically lose all hope for a 2023 Southeast Asian Games medal in Cambodia after getting rocked by underdog nation Timor-Leste

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine men’s football U22 team wrecked its 2023 Southeast Asian Games medal chances after bowing to unheralded Timor-Leste, 3-0, on Thursday, May 4.

The Azkals now need a perfect set of circumstances to keep its semifinal hopes alive, including no wins or draws for every other team in the group aside from top-ranked Indonesia, and a definitive rout in their next game against Myanmar on Wednesday, May 10.

Following an early setback at the 14th minute to Mouzinho Barreto de Lima, the Azkals’ night took a turn for the worse after yielding an unguarded kick to Luis Figo Pereira Ribeiro right at the 54-minute mark.

The Filipino booters had their chances to salvage a second-half miracle, but only found even more despair right at the very end as Elias da Costa Ximenes Mesquita drove the nail in the coffin 89 minutes in.

Prior to this huge win, Timor-Leste opened its campaign with a lopsided loss to host Cambodia, 4-0, before dropping a 1-0 decision to Myanmar. For reference, last year in the Vietnam SEA Games, the Philippines made quick work of the underdog nation with a 4-0 blowout – its only win of the tournament.

In Cambodia, the Philippines previously drew the host nation, 1-1, last Tuesday, May 2, and bowed to Indonesia, 4-0, last April 29. –

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