MANILA – The Philippine men’s football team made it hard for South Korea before surrendering a 0-1 loss in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup last night at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Hwang Uijo scored the marginal goal for the tournament favorites South Korea in the second half with a close range strike following a mad scramble that disrupted the Azkals’ defense.
Prior to that, Azkals’ defense was pristine with Alvaro Silva leading the way in disrupting South Korean’s shots, while goal keeper Michael Falkesgaard foiling the opponent’s attempts.
South Koreans were already aggressive early on with three shots on goal at the first 10 minutes but were foiled by Falkesgaard. Stephan Schrock and Manuel Ott attempted from afar for the Azkals but was easily blocked by the defense.
South Koreans continued to test the defense of the Azkals at the latter part of the first half but Falkesgaard did a great job in denying the goals.
Javier Patino had two tries for the Philippines but his hit was collected by South Korea’s keeper Kim Seungyu.
South Koreans started the second half with attempts from Kim Jinsu and Hwang Heechan but it sailed out. Patino had another close chance at the 54th minute but was easily saved by the defense.
After a missed free kick by South Korea at the 63rd minute, they finally opened the scoring two minutes later after Uijo caught Falkesgaard’s defense napping for a close range strike.
South Koreans will have more attempts on the goal after that but Falkesgaard had a great timing in saving the ball. The Azkals, however, struggled to bring down to the ball to their goal as the time expired.
After the South Korean game, the AFC Asian Cup first timer Azkals will next battle Peoples Republic of China on Jan. 11 before capping off the group match against Kyrgyzstan on Jan. 16./PN