Under-22 Azkals bow to Busmen
Unable to sustain a strong start, the Philippines’ Southeast Asian Games-bound side absorbed a 1-2 defeat to PH Football League champion Ceres Negros recently in the Copa Paulino Alcantara at Biñan Football Stadium.
Yrick Gallantes struck in the 30th minute to give the Young Azkals the lead, but goals from Dylan de Bruycker and Robert Lopez Mendy in the second half put the Under-22 side to the sword.
De Bruycker is actually still part of the Under-22 pool. But he had to suit up for Ceres in the competition as the Busmen allowed some of their stars to take a break following a long league campaign.
Stephan Schrock, who is being considered as one of the two overaged players who will reinforce the SEA Games team, did not see action for Ceres.
Still, the Philippines remains in the running for a spot in the semifinals with three points from two matches. The SEA Games-bound squad will face Mendiola on Wednesday with the winner advancing to the Last Four.
Mendiola, which held Ceres to a 2-2 draw last Saturday, also stayed in contention after a Jim Ashley Flores strike ensured a 1-0 win over Green Archers at Aboitiz pitch in Lipa City.
The Busmen have four points like Mendiola.
The Azkals’ first win came at the expense of Green Archers United, 1-0, on Sunday.
Kaya-Iloilo and Stallion Laguna have three points each in pacing Group B, with both owning wins over the Philippine Air Force, 5-0, and 2-1, respectively.
Group winners and runners-up will advance to the semifinals and the Azkals would have to beat Mendiola to have a chance.
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