MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Azkals bid to qualify for the Qatar 2022 World Cup received a big blow on Monday (Tuesday, Manila time) after absorbing a 2-0 loss against China at the resumption of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates.
This despite a gallant stand from the Nationals where they held China scoreless in the first 45 minutes for a 0-0 tie at halftime.
However, the Chinese booters caught a break in the 57th minute when Wu Lei was awarded a penalty kick after a collision with Azkals goalkeeper Bernd Schipmann inside the box.
Lei converted on the penalty and gave China their first lead, 1-0.
Left wing Wu Xinghan later added to the lead with a goal of his own in the 65th minute.
The Philippine booters had their own chance at goal in the first half with two chances from Mark Hartmann.
The forward’s attempts, however, went way off the goal box as the Azkals remained scoreless.
The Azkals thus slipped to third in the rankings of Group A with seven points. However, they can bounce back and still keep themselves within striking distance of the Asian Cup when they face Guam on Friday and Maldives on June 15.
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