DUBAI – A promising campaign ended in heartbreak for the Philippines as the Azkals suffered a 3-1 defeat to Kyrgyzstan last Wednesday night that ended their hopes of reaching the next round of the AFC Asian Cup at Rashid Stadium here.
Stephan Schrock scored a historic first goal for the country in the competition second half but it turned out to be a late consolation for the Azkals whose campaign started on a positive note with a fighting performance in the 0-1 defeat to South Korea.
Vitalij Lux’s hattrick ensured maximum points for Kyrgyzstan which is in a strong position to reach the next round.
The Azkals entered the match brimming with confidence especially after a win would have given them an opportunity to advance.
But Kyrgyzstan put the Azkals under pressure right from the start with Michael Falkesgaard needing to come up with a couple of big saves early before Vitalij struck to open the scoring in the 23rd minute.FEATURED STORIES
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Vitalij rifled home another quality finish six minutes into the second half, before grabbing his hattrick by firing into an empty net.
Schrock’s free kick gave the Filipino gallery something to cheer about in the 81st minute and another chance for the Azkals to trim the deficit went begging moments later when Patrick Reichelt lashed his effort wide.