The Philippines began the 2013 Peace Cup on a sour note after Chinese Taipei dealt the hosts with a 2-1 shock defeat, Friday night at Bacolod.
The Azkals were off and firing early in the first half with Angel Guirado almost scoring the opener inside the first ten minutes after breaking free from his defender, however the Taiwanese goalkeeper was able to deny the forward the chance.
James Younghusband’s equalizer in first half stoppage time gave the Azkals a glimmer of hope, but were ultimately defeated with a confident Chinese Taipei side.
Chinese Taipei then got the upper hand in the 14th minute as Li Mao was able to beat the Azkals defensive line before putting a chip shot over Neil Etheridge for the first goal of the match.
Younghusband also had an early chance in the eight minute but his header was saved.
Needing an extra man in midfield, Patrick Reichelt entered the match in the 35th minute, replacing OJ Porteria.
Despite the deficit, the Azkals continued to press on for the equalizer and almost came close in the 30th minute as Jerry Lucena’s backheel shot went wide.
Come first half stoppage time, the Azkals were able to break through after Stephan Schrock’s cross for Jeffrey Christiaens was deflected and instead found Younghusband who headed it home for the equalizer.
Not giving up, the hosts came close in scoring the much needed equalizer with substitute Emelio Caligdong almost scoring late on as his shot was easily saved by the goalkeeper.
The Azkals began the second half the same way they ended the first, pressing on goal in the hope of taking the lead over the Taiwanese.
However the Taiwanese went on the counter and were able to add a second goal midway the second half to retake the lead.
The next game of the Philippines against Pakistan is a do or die game on Tuesday, October 15.