Azkals split international friendlies after bitter loss to Taiwan at home
CEBU CITY, Philippines—- The Philippine Azkals sealed their back-to-back international friendlies with one victory and one defeat after losing to Chinese Taipei, 3-2, last Monday evening, June 19, 2023, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Riding the momentum on their victory against Nepal last June 15 from Jarvey Gayoso’s lone goal, the Azkals endured a heartbreaking defeat at the hands of the Taiwanese national squad.
The Taiwanese didn’t waste time from the get-go after Wu Shen-Shu scored in the first two minutes from his long ball that bounced high enough to slip past goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
It didn’t take long for the Azkals to respond with an equalizer after Manny Ott was fouled inside the penalty box in the 12th minute.
Ott easily flicked the ball right past the Taiwanese goalkeeper to score the equalizer 1-1.
Rizal Memorial Stadium came alive after the Azkals scored its second goal courtesy of Patrick Reichelt in the 39th minute from a breakaway and sealed the first half with a 2-1 lead.
However, the Taiwanese squad didn’t let up and scored an equalizer from Yao Hsing Yu in the 57th minute, 2-2.
Both teams fought tooth and nail in the ensuing minutes, but the Taiwanese squad found a crack in the Azkals’ defense which led to Ming-Wei Lin’s 90th-minute goal to seal the visitors’ victory.
The Azkals’ back-to-back friendlies were part of their preparation for the upcoming FIFA World Cup/AFC Asian Cup joint preliminary.
It was another impressive result for Chinese-Taipei, which three days prior held Thailand to a 2-2 draw in Bangkok.An opening goal from Yen-Shu Wu off a free kick two minutes into the match didn’t prevent the Azkals from fighting back before a crowd of 3,758.
Veteran goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who got the start after Patrick Deyto’s clean sheet against Nepal, made several saves in the second half, but Chinese-Taipei was still able to find the net. | with a report from Inquirer.net
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