Asian Cup: Azkals impress in loss to South Korea
DUBAI—The result was not ideal, but it was a memorable debut nonetheless for the Philippines in the AFC Asian Cup.
The Azkals held their ground against powerhouse South Korea before conceding in the second half as they fell to a 0-1 defeat in their first AFC Asian Cup match at Al Maktoum Stadium here.
Playing with laser-like focus against a side that regularly plays in the World Cup, the Azkals defended stoutly and looked dangerous on the counterattack for 65 minutes, before they were left undone by a classy finish from Hwang Uijo.
The Korean striker turned and rifled the ball past Michael Falkesgaard, bringing relief to his side that struggled to break down the disciplined and well-drilled Azkals, who are the lowest ranked side in Group C at No. 116.
Michael Falkesgaard pulled off two big saves in the first half to keep the Azkals in the match, before Javier Patino had a couple of golden opportunities to put the Philippines in front.
His best chance came early in the second half when he broke free on the left only to fire a tamed effort straight at Kim Seunggyu. Patino had a volley saved by Kim on the counter late in the second half.
As it stands, Korea and China lead the group with three points each. The Chinese came from behind to beat Kyrgyzstan, 2-1, in the other match.
The Azkals travel to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday as they prepare for the clash against China set on Friday.