Young Azkals need sweep to advance to SEA Games 2023 semis
The Philippines pulled off a 1-1 draw against Cambodia on Wednesday in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games men’s football competitions, nut the young Azkals—as impressive as that feat was against the hosts—need no less than a sweep of their last two games to have a chance at getting out of group play.
Tuesday’s stalemate courtesy of a last-gasp header by Doy Cariño gave the Young Azkals a slim chance of getting one of the two semifinal berths in Group A with lowly Timor Leste and Myanmar next on their schedule.
Coach Rob Gier’s side sits at fourth place with just one point on that draw and a defeat, a 3-0 drubbing taken at the hands of title favorite Indonesia last Saturday.
Cambodia is on top with four points despite the surprise result against the Philippines. Indonesia and Myanmar have three points each. Timor Leste has lost all of its first two games.
The Young Azkals play Timor Leste on Thursday before taking a long break to prepare for the May 10 encounter with Myanmar.
A draw and a win in their last two games may not be enough for the Young Azkals to stay in the semifinal hunt, but one loss ends any chances of going for the country’s first medal in men’s football.
Cariño denied Cambodia a second win before a packed crowd at Olympic Stadium in Phnom Penh, producing a header moments before the final whistle was blown.
Women’s football action began on Wednesday with the World Cup-bound Filipinas taking on Myanmar at RCAF Old Stadium, also in the Cambodian capital.