Indonesia silences Azkals, 3-0

Head coach Rob Gier yesterday said the Philippine national team could not recover from the late goal in the first half by Indonesia in their match in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games at the Olympic Stadium late Saturday in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

“Today was a tough game for us. I thought we were very for 45 minutes and 30 seconds. The goal just before halftime really deflated our players,” Gier said.

Gier, a former Azkals team captain, said in a post-match interview that after Marselino Ferdinan Philipus scored a volley in the 45+1 minute for the Indonesians, it all went south for the Azkals, who absorbed a 3-0 defeat.

“They executed perfectly on those first 45 minutes and also gave problems to Indonesia. That one goal at halftime against us kind of knocked out the wind from us and we failed to come out of the second half and recover from that.”

Holding a 1-0 lead in the second half, the Garuda added two more goals courtesy of Irfan Jauhari in the 89th minute and Muhammad Fajar in the 90+2 minute of the game.

The Azkals are now in fourth place in Group A with a 0-1 win-loss record and a -3 goal difference as they now face host country Cambodia today at 8 p.m. (Manila time).

The Cambodians are coming off an impressive 4-0 beating over Timor Leste last Saturday as they seek the top two spots of the group.

The top two teams per group will advance to the knockout stages on 13 May for a chance to get into the podium.

The Philippines is looking to finally end a 46-year-long medal drought in men’s football.

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