Thursday, December 7, 2017
MANILA – Philippine Azkals capped off its campaign in the Chinese Taipei Football Association International Tournament with a 0-1 loss to Timor-Leste at the Taipei Municipal Stadium in Taiwan.
After the Tuesday night game in the four-team tournament, Azkals ended up on third place with a 1-2 win-loss card. Its lone win was against Laos 3-1.
Chinese Taipei captured the tournament championship after defeating Laos 2-0. Li Maotou fired a goal each in the first and second half for the host team.
Both Azkals and Timor-Leste struggled to have a decent shot in the first half due to tight defense. Azkals had a chance to break the deadlock midway in the second frame but the attempt was easily foiled by a Timor-Leste defender.
Timor-Leste snagged the advantage with less than five minutes in the match courtesy of a conversion by Silva Garcia. Azkals tried to force a tie but its late attempts failed to find its mark.
Despite the third place finish, Azkals’ performance was commendable as the team faced teams with higher FIFA rankings, according to Philippine Football Federation secretary general Ed Gastanes.
“This is about gratitude and reciprocity,” said Gastanes. “We are given an opportunity to improve as we have faced football teams that were higher than us in terms of rankings.”/PN