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Football

Late Pham Tuan Ha goal shatters Philippines’ FIFA World Cup dreams


Pham Tuan Ha’s late winner ended the Philippine Men’s National Football Team’s 2026 FIFA World Cup dreams as Tom Saintfiet’s men folded 3-2 to Vietnam Thursday at the Mỹ Đình National Stadium in Hanoi.

The substitute forward struck in the 90+5th minute to win the match for the Golden Star Warriors after Kevin Ingreso seemed set to earn the Philippines a draw with his 89th-minute equalizer.

The result meant that the Philippines would finish bottom of Group F with one game to go, having only one point after four losses and a draw. The Filipinos are officially relegated to the third qualifying round of the 2027 AFC Asian Cup.

In contrast, Vietnam sat in third place with six points from two wins and three defeats.

It was a disappointing ending for the squad formerly known as the Azkals, as they drew first blood in the contest.

Patrick Reichelt, who started as a striker for the Philippines, latched onto Alex Monis’ assist to open the scoring in the 62nd minute.

Reichelt’s opener brought the home side to life as Nguyen Tien Linh put the ball in the back of the net in the 65th and 76th minutes, and the Golden Star Warriors eventually found a way through in the end.

“First of all, congratulations to the national team of Vietnam and the fantastic fans in the stadium,” said Philippines coach Tom Saintfiet. “It was a great atmosphere, but naturally, I’m not here to analyze Vietnam, I’m here to work for the Philippines.

“I think in the first half, Vietnam was pushing, but we were more dangerous with our counterattacks. I think the best result for both would have been a draw. I’m very disappointed, but naturally, Vietnam is a good team. I’m also very satisfied with the performance of my team.”

In the other match, Iraq defeated Indonesia 2-0 at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta.

#ReadMore  SEA Games: Filipinas bow out despite win over Vietnam

The Lions of Mesopotamia are assured of a ticket to the next World Cup qualifying round and the 2027 AFC Asian Cup after extending their tally to 15 points in Group F, while the Merah Putih are just a point above the Golden Star Warriors in second place.

The Philippines will end their World Cup qualification campaign against Indonesia this Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. at the Bung Karno Stadium.

The Philippines will play the spoiler role against Indonesia, who need a better result than Vietnam, who will face the daunting Iraq, to advance to the next round of World Cup qualification.

Vietnam XI: Đỗ Duy Mạnh, Khuất Văn Khang, Bùi Tiến Dũng, Phạm Xuân Mạnh, Đỗ Hùng Dũng, Nguyễn Văn Toàn, Nguyễn Hoàng Đức, Nguyễn Đức Chiến, Nguyễn Quang Hải, Nguyễn Tiến Linh, Đặng Văn Lâm (GK).

Philippines XI: Etheridge (GK), Woods, Ingreso, Demuynck, Baldisimo, Reichelt, Monis, Ugelvik, Nyholm, Bailey, Rublico.

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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