China nips PH XI with two goals after halftime
The Philippine Azkals fell to China, 2-0, in the joint 2022 World Cup and 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers on Tuesday (Manila time) at Sharjah Stadium in the United Arab Emirates.
The Azkals held for with an encouraging display in the first half of play, but yielded two goals after intermission to allow China to grab the victory.
Chinese star Wu Lei converted on a penalty in the 56th minute before winger Wu Xinghan padded the lead in the 65th minute.
The loss delivered a big blow to the Azkals’ World Cup bid. The Philippines remained in third place in Group A with seven points with a 2-1-3 record.
Second-running China, on the other hand, boosted its chances to advance with 13 points (4-1-1).
The Azkals, who had a long layoff before the match against China, will take on Guam on Friday.
The team is pursuing its bid minus top goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and eight other key players.
Aside from Etheridge, who couldn’t join the team because of a surgery, other unavailable players included Patrick Strauss, Niko De Vera, Iain Ramsay, Carlie De Murga, Raphael Obermair, Gerrit Holtmann, Lloyd Fagerlie and Jesper Nyholm. INQ
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.