Phil Younghusband believes the Philippines went all out against South Korea in their 2019 AFC Asian Cup debut to the point that the team ended up being drained against China.
The Azkals lost 1-0 to Korea on Monday, but not before showing a brave effort against the 2015 finalists. The Filipinos were less stellar, though, in their next game, falling 3-0 to China.
“A lot of the players looked a bit leggy and tired because of the effort put in against Korea Republic,” Younghusband said in the Asian Football Confederation website.
“When you are tired, and you go 1-0 down after 40 minutes, everything seems a bit further and a bit slower. I definitely think the performance we put in against Korea Republic, especially the defensive side, took its toll against China.”
Younghusband added that China took advantage of the Azkals being desperate when they fell behind by a goal at halftime.
“You start to chase the equalizer, chase the game, and lose spaces and lose discipline. And good teams are able to exploit that,” he said.
The Azkals will now need a win against Kyrgyzstan to remain in contention for a spot in the Round of 16.
“We’ve played (Kyrgyzstan) twice in the last few years. Played them away, played them home and we got two wins. But this is a different stage, they may have different players, we have different players. It’s a different arena,” Younghusband said.
“We have to win the next game. We don’t have to go gung-ho at the beginning, but we know at some point we have to go for it.”
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