Philippines falls to Japan in AFC U-23 tournament opener
ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 20, 2017 11:38 AM
(Photo courtesy of the Philippine Football Federation)
The Philippine U-23 squad got off to a rocky start in the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship Qualfication tournament, falling to Japan 8-0 in their opening assignment in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
The Philippines and Japan belong to Group J, along with China PR and Cambodia.
Anchored by Ren Kumatsu's four goals, the Japanese squad struck early, controlling the match from start to finish. Tsukasa Morishima, who finished with a brace, scored the opening goal ten minutes into the match while Yuya Nakasaka and Ito Hiroki added a goal each.
The Pinoys get a chance to bounce back on Friday, July 21 when they take on China PR who are coming off a 0-0- draw against Cambodia.
The leaders from all ten groups automatically qualify for the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship tournament, which kicks off January 2018.
The top-five runners-up will also earn a spot in the final tournament.