2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers: Philippine Azkals come up short as Bahrain gets revenge
ABS-CBN Sports on Oct 14, 2015 01:42 AM
Things were different for the Azkals this time around, as they fall to Bahrain, 0-2
The Philippine Azkals couldn’t pull of a repeat of their World Cup Qualifiers opener win, as Bahrain managed to get some revenge with a 2-0 win Tuesday night at the Bahrain National Stadium in Riffa.
A more aggressive Bahraini side managed to control the tempo of the match in the early goings, making it difficult for the Filipino booters to get off any clean shots. The best chance from the Azkals was a Phil Younghusband header that went wide left.
Still, things were neck and neck as the match went into intermission at a 0-0 standstill.
The second half belonged to Bahrain though, as the opening goal of the match came at the 53rd minute, courtesy of a quick tip in by Ismail Abdul-Latif, which was set up by Sami Al-Husaini.
With still a lot of time left, a 1-0 lead wasn’t insurmountable, but the Bahraini defense would not let the visiting Azkals mount much offense. Younghusband had a golden opportunity to equalize for the Azkals at the 56th minute, but Bahrain keeper Sayed Jaffer was there to make the save.
Bahrain struck again in the 61st minute, thanks to a picture-perfect free kick from Sayed Hussain that went above the Azkal wall and right through keeper Neil Etheridge to make it 2-0 for the home squad.
The Filipino side tried to pull one back, but to no avail as Bahrain came away with a big win at home.
The Philippines sits still at third place with seven points in five matches played, while Bahrain is closing in with six points after five matches.
Up next for the Azkals is a trip back home, where they’ll have a bit more time to get ready, as they look to close out the year back on the winning column when they host a hungry Yemen team looking for their first win. The last time that the Azkals and Yemen shared the pitch, the Pinoys left with a 2-0 win.