MANILA – The Philippine U-23 Azkals failed to hang on to its early lead to suffer a 2-3 defeat to Laos in the 2020 AFC U-23 championship qualifier on Tuesday at Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor, Malaysia.
The defeat was a heartbreaker for the Azkals after scoring the first two goals of the match only to surrender three more goals to Laos at the latter part of the non-bearing match.
Jarvey Gayoso put the young Azkals on top after 11 minutes with his left boot after receiving a headed pass from Kyle Magdato. The lead was nearly doubled later in the opening half but the Azkals misfired its penalty.
In the second half, Laos nearly pulled off an equalizer but fall short on its close range attempt. The Azkals increased the lead to 2-0 at the 65th minute on another conversion from Gayoso.
Laos then began its fight back when Kaharn Phetsivilay dribbled past the defence before placing the ball past Azkals’ Michael Asong at the 74th minute. It was quickly followed by an equalizer from Laos’ Tiny Bounmalay.
With the score tied at 2-all, Laos continued to press on the Azkals’ before getting the winning goal on the 92nd minute when Bounphachan Bounkong received a lovely pass from Phoutthasay Khochalern.
With the defeat, the Salvador Salvacion-mentored Azkals ended their campaign in the qualifiers for next year’s AFC U-23 competition without a victory in three matches./PN