Azkals lose to Kuwait in Fifa friendlyBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—Returning key players gave the Philippines a boost but it wasn’t enough as the Azkals yielded to Kuwait, 1-2, in a Fifa international friendly late Tuesday night (Manila time) in Kuwait.
Phil Younghusband, who was back in the lineup after missing the Peace Cup and the Bahrain friendly, picked up where he left off as he struck the Philippines lone goal off a penalty kick after a handball called against Kuwait.
Fil-British Neil Etheridge kept the Azkals in the game with a slew of fine saves in the first half including a double save in the 27th minute.
Bader Al-Mutawa opened up the scoring for Kuwait in the 35th minute off a powerful strike before Younghusband equalized in the 60th minute.
Coming out sharp in the second half, the Philippines got good looks but the quicker Kuwaitis held their ground.
Demitrius Omphroy had a shot on goal but didn’t get a clear hit on the shot after Patrick Reichelt’s attempt went over.
Kuwait, ranked 112, struck again in the 70th minute after a questionable penalty called against Juani Guirado.
The Azkals, who are on a build-up for the AFF Suzuki Cup, held Asian powerhouse Bahrain to a scoreless draw last Saturday but just couldn’t slow down the relentless Kuwait side.