The Philippines scored a valuable 2-1 win over Maldives in Group A of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 last night.
Host Maldives were more organized in the first half while the visitors missed a penalty before the stroke of half-time.
The Azkals, however, came back roaring in the second half with two goals before Maldives scored a late consolation.
The win for the Philippines means they stay in touch with the group’s heavyweights - Syria and China PR - with seven points.
Maldives, who pushed Syria all the way in a 2-1 defeat on Matchday Three, were the better side in the first half as they looked dangerous going forward but despite their best efforts, the Philippines backline with Cardiff City shot-stopper Neil Etheridge in goal, held firm.
The Philippines also had their fair share of chances in the first half and were awarded a penalty in the 40th minute but Patrick Reichelt’s spot-kick was parried away by Maldives goalkeeper Mohamed Faisal.
The Azkals started the second half with the same intensity they had in the first period and should have gone ahead in the 50th minute but Iain Ramsay failed to get his shot on target from inside the box.
The Sukhothai FC forward however made amends three minutes later when he beat Faisal to put Philippines in front.
The Philippines played with added aggression and stretched their lead 69 minutes in through John Patrick Strauss’s effort.
Maldives, however scored a late consolation goal through midfielder Naiz Hassan, but it was too late as the Philippines held on for the win.
Up next for the Philippines are Syria away on Tuesday while Maldives will play Guam in Male.*afc.com
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