A good result for the Philippine campaign in the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers. My prayer is that our men would qualify as well, just like our Malditas. The Women’s National Football Team booked a ticket to the AFC Women’s Asian Cup in Jordan next year.
The Philippines was ahead 2-0 at halftime. A brace by Javier Patiño and a setpiece goal by Phil Younghusband, both made it looked like an easy game for the Azkals. But this was not the case in the second half, a Tajikistan fightback turned the game into an uphill battle for the visitors.
Philip Younghusband opened the scoring through a freekick outside the Tajikistan box in 28th minute. Prior to this setpiece, Patiño was running with the ball, then he was tackled from behind by Alexander Huber which the referee called it as foul.
China-based Patigol added two more goals. The first goal was assisted by Mike Ott, and the second one was solo effort in the 48th minute in the second half. The third goal silenced the huge crowd inside the Republican Central Stadium in Dushandbe.
The host managed to changed the tempo of the game with two sucessive goals, a converted penalty kick of Parvizdzhon Umarboev and a beautiful strike from Dilshod Vasiev, the latter after a defence mishap from the Philippine side.
Daisuke Sato’s superb long strike outside the opponent’s penalty line made it 2-4 for the Philippines. But the Tajiks were stubborn, Manuchekhr Dzhalilov added another goal in the 89th minute, albeit a consolation one. The Azkals came out the winner in the end with 3-4 final score.
The Philippines currently sits on top of Group F, with two wins, and no losses or draws. Yemen at second place with 4 points after held goal-less by Nepal. This is Tajikistan’s second defeat, and is languishing below the table with zero points.
Match highlights of the game against Tajikistan. To watch the full match replay, click this. click this.