The Philippines Azkals’ Under-23 team ended their AFF U-23 Championship 2022 campaign on a high note thanks to a 2-1 victory over Brunei Darussalam, Sunday evening, at the Prince Stadium in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
After a goalless first half, midfielder Dennis Chung was able to seize the lead for the Philippines.
The 21-year-old midfielder found the back of the net by taking advantage of a goalkeeping error by Brunei’s Abdul Mutalip Mohammed at the 47th minute.
Coach Stewart Hall’s wards then saw their lead double at the 58th minute thanks to a fine strike by midfielder Sandro Reyes off an assist by substitute Andres Aldeguer.
However, Brunei was able to find a way to get a lifeline in the contest. Muhammad Hakeme Yazid Said eluded the Azkals markers and shot past Philippines goalkeeper Enrico Mangaoang at the 59th minute to set up a tight finale.
“We got two quick goals and then instead of winning by three or four (goals), which we should with the possession that we had, we let them come back into the game with a silly breakaway goal,” said Hall. “But credit to (the players) because they kept working. At least we finished with a win.”
The result leaves the Philippines with 4 points in Group A, which was not enough to make it to the knockouts.
Timor Leste’s 1-0 victory over host nation Cambodia sees both teams finish at first and second place respectively in the group with tallies of seven points and six points. Brunei leaves the competition with no point.
Philippines XI: Mangaoang (GK), Encabo, Kekkonen ©, Chung, Reyes, Bias, Suba Jr, Forrosuelo, Ouano, Rosquillo, Woods
Brunei XI: Mohammed (GK), Alimin, Aminuddin ©, Norsamri, Adanan, Said, Jufri, Herman, Nizam, Ramli, Shariff