The Philippine Men’s National Team earned respect after yielding to Korea Republic, 1-0, in the opening match of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 last Monday 7 January 2019 at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Hwang Ui-Jo’s 67th minute strike was the marginal goal in the match, but the Azkals’ fighting spirit did not waver throughout the match with an organized defense and an attack that came close in producing a shock.
Javier Patiño had two clear chances in either half for the Philippines. The first one came with minutes left before half-time, but his volley was saved. A second effort came in the 54th minute against the run of play but again was saved.
Defender Alvaro Silva had a chance to draw level 12 minutes after Hwang’s goal, but his effort from Iain Ramsay’s cross went over.
Despite the loss, the Philippines still has a chance to qualify for the next round. The top two teams from each group, along with four best third placed teams will advance to the knockout stages.
The Philippines next Group C assignment will be against China PR on Friday 11 January 2019 at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, UAE.