Football: Azkals lose big at home to Syria in World Cup qualifier


Posted at Sep 05 2019 09:23 PM | Updated as of Sep 05 2019 10:12 PM

In this photo taken in March 2017, the Philippines play against Malaysia in a friendly in Manila. On Thursday, Javier Patiño (right) put the Azkals ahead in a World Cup qualifier, until Syria opened the floodgates en route to a convincing win against the Filipinos. Mark R. Cristino, EPA/file

The Philippine national football team lost 5-2 to Syria on Thursday in a lackluster showing to open Round 2 of the qualifiers for both the 2022 World Cup and the 2023 Asian Cup.

Javier Patiño gave the crowd at Panaad Park and Stadium in Bacolod something to be excited about early when he put the Azkals ahead.

Patiño conspired with Angel Guirado up front in the 7th minute to give the Azkals a 1-0 lead.

But Syria, ranked No. 87 by FIFA, 39 places higher than the Philippines, were uncooperative visitors, as they strung together 4 goals in a row.

Omar Al Soma had 2 goals while Faris Al Khatib, Khaled Almbayed and Mahmoud Almawas added 3 more for the Syrian side.

Mike Ott was the other Azkals player who scored.

The Filipinos belong in Group A of the second round of qualification, where they hope to at a least have one of the best 4 runner-up records among the 8 groups, to advance to the next round of the World Cup qualifiers.

The Azkals are bracketed with Syria, China, the Maldives and Guam.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.