PH men's football team lose to Iraq in World Cup qualifiers

PH men’s football team drops close loss to Iraq in World Cup qualifiers

/ 05:15 PM March 22, 2024

Philippine men’s football team World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers

PH men’s football team vs Iraq in the World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers. –PHOTO VIA PFF

The Philippine men’s football team threatened to sneak an away point before bowing to Iraq, 1-0, Thursday (Friday Manila time) in the World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers at Basra International Stadium.

Coach Tom Saintfiet’s first match in charge ended in defeat as the Iraqis scored the eventual winner courtesy of Mohanad Ali in 84th minute which brought delight to a packed crowd of over 64,000.

Ali received a long ball and beat two defenders with a right-footed shot past a rushing Etheridge and Iraq eventually got its third win in as many matches in the second round of the Asian Qualifiers.


READ: Saintfiet harps: PH football team ready to compete against Iraq

The team formerly known as the Azkals, however, stayed at the bottom of the group with just one point, needing to avoid dropping more in the next three matches to avoid missing out a spot in the next round of the World Cup Qualifiers.

Iraq has nine points followed by Indonesia with four points after defeating Vietnam, 1-0, in the other Group F match.

Vietnam stayed at three points for third after its loss to the Indonesians at Jakarta’s Bung Karno Stadium.


READ: PH football federation retires Azkals moniker, eyes new direction

Both countries will meet again Tuesday, this time with Iraq playing as visiting side at Rizal Memorial Stadium.


Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was among the few bright spots for the Philippines, which entered the match as heavy underdogs.

Several Etheridge saves frustrate the Iraqis and gave the Filipinos hope of producing a result.

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