THE Philippines opened its campaign in the AFC U23 Asian Cup Uzbekistan 2022 Qualifiers with a 3-0 loss to defending champion Korea Republic in its Group H match at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore, Oct. 25, 2021.
The Azkals put on a gallant stand against the Asian superpower and held Korea scoreless in the opening half.
Korea’s head coach Hwang Sun Hong made the necessary adjustments, and it paid off as the Koreans finally hit the back of the net with a goal by defender Lee Kyu Hyuk in the 51st minute. Go Jae Hyeon added a second goal in the 72nd minute before Park Jeong In put the icing on the cake with a goal in the 89th minute.
Singapore and Timor-Leste settled to a 2-2 draw in the other Group H match.
The Philippines dropped to last place in Group H following the loss. Korea is at the top with three points while Singapore and Timor-Leste are tied at second place with a point each.
The Philippines faces Singapore next in a must-win match on Oct. 28. (EKA)