U-23 Azkals bow out of SEAG football

Published May 13, 2022, 8:29 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from Zing News

The national U-23 team bowed out of semifinal contention in the men’s football competitions of the 31st Southeast Asian Games after a 4-0 defeat against Indonesia Friday, May 13 in Phu Tho, Vietnam.

Needing a win to stay alive, the U-23 Azkals saw themselves fall behind when Muhammad Ridwan scored the opener for the Indonesians in the 18th minute of their match held at Viet Tri Stadium.

Indonesia doubled its lead before halftime on Rizky Ridho’s goal before adding two more after the restart courtesy of Egy Maulana in the 74th and Marselino Ferdinan from the spot in the 85th.

With the defeat, the Philippines ended its campaign with four points in four matches, assuring itself of at least a fourth place finish among five teams in Group A.

Indonesia climbed into a tie with Myanmar as of posting with six points each, thus extending the Philippines’ quest for a semis berth which it last tasted back in the 1991 Manila edition.

Things looked bright for coach Norman Fegidero’s side at the start when it defeated Timor-Leste, 4-0, in the opener before stunning Vietnam with a scoreless draw.

But the U-23 Azkals blew a chance to gain closer towards a semis berth, conceding two goals in the second half before losing 3-2 to Myanmar last Tuesday.

Midfielder Dennis Chung, defenders Jaime Rosquillo and Miguel Mendoza and striker Jovin Bedic, who joined Stephan Schrock as one of two overage players allowed under SEAG regulations, were among the players that made an impression during the Philippine campaign.