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Tiebreaker Times


FIFA Qualifiers: Philippines tastes five-goal drubbing at hands of Iraq

The Philippine Men’s National Football Team suffered yet another defeat at the hands of Iraq in the second round of the AFC qualification tournament of the 2026 FIFA World Cup, this time bowing to a 0-5 result in front of 10,014 fans at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

Tom Saintfiet’s men had a dismal start as they conceded a goal as early as the 14th minute due to a penalty kick from Iraqi striker Aymen Hussein.

Things were about to get worse for the home side before the first half even ended. Amir Al Ammari doubled the visitors’ lead in the 30th minute while Hussein completed his brace six minutes later.

Zidane Iqbal put the game to bed during the second half by scoring the Lions of Mesopotamia’s fourth goal in the 62nd minute. Zaid Tahseen’s 77th-minute header would complete the rout.

The Philippines remained at the bottom of Group F with only a point and a minus-8 goal difference on the back of one draw and three losses.

I’m very disappointed but I’m also very sorry,” said Saintfiet. “I would like to say my apologies to the 10,000 fans in the stadium and also the people who were watching at home. My apologies for the big defeat, and also my thanks for the big support from the fans’ side.

The fans were behind us for the whole 90 minutes, and I really would like to thank them and once again say sorry for the very disappointing result.

In contrast, Iraq booked its ticket to the next World Cup qualifying phase as it now has 12 points behind four straight wins.

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Up next for the Philippines and Iraq are away matches against Vietnam and Indonesia respectively. Both fixtures will take place on June 6.

Philippines XI: Etheridge (GK, C), Curran, P Tabinas, J Tabinas, Ingreso, Gayoso, Aguinaldo, Kekkonen, Baas, Rublico, Rontini.

Iraq XI: Adhamat, Hussein Ali, Naji, Hantoosh, Al-Furaji, Al-Kaabawi, Hassan (GK, C), Iqbal, Fouad, Elaibi, Hussein.

Written By

Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces

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