The Philippine Under-19 national football team fell short of its goal to qualify for the AFC U-20 Asian Cup next year, but they managed to end their campaign on a high note.
The Filipinos stunned Afghanistan, 1-0, on Sunday night at the Al-Saada Sports Complex in Salalah, Oman for a triumphant conclusion to the qualifiers.
Kamil Amirul put the Philippines ahead in the 83rd minute, and the young Azkals held on for their lone win of the competition.
The loss proved costly for Afghanistan, who missed out on an opportunity to finish second in the group after a 1-0 upset of hosts Oman in their previous match.
The young Azkals lost to Oman, 3-0, in their first match then suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat to Southeast Asian rivals Thailand last Friday.
With the match tied 2-2 after the first half, the Filipinos went toe-to-toe with Thailand but gave up the match-winner to Peeranan Buakai in the 89th minute.
Both Oman and Thailand finished with six points in Group G but the hosts topped the group after beating the Thais, 1-0, in their match. While Oman is assured of a spot in the Asian Cup, Thailand will wait if they finish among the five best second-placed teams.