MATCH REPORT: Philippines 3-2 DPR Korea
The Philippines overcame adversity as they defeated DPR Korea, 3-2, in the final match of the 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers Tuesday night at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Goals from Misagh Bahadoran, Manny Ott, and Iain Ramsay produced one of the finest moments of the Azkals under coach Thomas Dooley, winning the match after going 1-2 down early in the second half.
Javier Patino almost broke the deadlock for the Azkals in the 15th minute. Manny Ott’s free kick found the forward in the box but shot it straight to the goalkeeper.
DPR Korea knocked on the Azkals’ door in the 33rd minute. However they were unable to beat Neil Etheridge at goal.
Bahadoran broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute. The Azkals winger scored his third goal with a header from close range after Patino’s effort was denied by the goalkeeper.
However, the celebrations was cut short as DPR Korea equalized right before half-time from a So Kyong Jin shot following a goal-mouth scramble.
The visitors took the lead three minutes into the second half. Ri Hyok Chol pounced the ball past Neil Etheridge after the Azkals back line crumbled from another free kick.
Going 1-2 down to DPR Korea did not dampen the Azkals spirit as they mounted a fight back in front of the 7,300 plus fans.
Ott levelled the match in the 84th minute with delicate finish to set up a final last seven minutes of action in Rizal.
Ramsay completed the comeback with a 90th minute winner to send the crowd to a frenzy as the Philippines defeated DPR Korea to the score of 3-2.
“In a game like this, everyone was motivated,” said Azkals Coach Thomas Dooley after the match. “The players needed to believe in themselves to get the win against DPR Korea.”
The result sees the Philippines finish third in Group H with 10 points ahead of Bahrain and Yemen.