MANILA - The Philippine Azkals went toe-to-toe but fell prey to Azerbaijan, 1-0, in their friendly held Wednesday at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
The Azkals, reinforced by Bundesliga midfielder Stephan Schrock, started the match on the back foot, with their higher-ranked opponents dominating possession.
The Azerbaijanis poured men forward, and Rufat Dadashov scored the game's lone goal in the 26th minute.
The Azkals, under the helm of new coach Thomas Dooley, tried to claw back into the game.
However, Azerbaijan's defense stood firm, while Phil Younghusband failed to connect on several close shots in the second half.
The match is part of the Azkals' preparations for the AFC Challenge Cup later this year.
They will hold a training camp in the Middle East during Holy Week.