Football: Azkals take care of business in Maldives for win No. 2

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2019 08:56 PM | Updated as of Nov 15 2019 03:16 AM

Stephan Schröck and the Azkals play China in this file photo taken on June 7, 2019. Schröck and the Philippines downed the Maldives 2-1 on Thursday. STR/Agence France-Presse/file

(UPDATE) The Philippines men's football team defeated the Maldives 2-1 on Thursday for its second win in Round 2 of the joint qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

Iain Ramsay and John-Patrick Strauss struck after the break for the world No. 126 Azkals, who now have 7 points in Group A.

The Filipinos are 5 points adrift of Syria, which topped China 2-1, after Zhang Linpeng's own goal turned out to be the game-winner.

China also has 7 points, while Maldives has 3 and Guam still without a win.

After struggling in the first half, the Azkals picked up the action to offset the hosts’ fluid movement at Maldives National Football Stadium in the capital city of Male.

Ramsay found success in the 52nd minute when he penetrated the Maldives’ defense and scored the first goal for the Filipinos by firing a shot near the post.

Minutes later, Strauss hiked the lead for the Azkals by following up the successive attempts made by Luke Woodland and Patrick Reichelt.

The Maldives, ranked No. 154 in the world, rallied albeit futilely late in the match with Hassan Naiz scoring one in stoppage time.

The Azkals take on Syria next on Tuesday at Rashid Stadium in Dubai. 

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