It was always going to be a tall task for the Philippine National Men’s Under-23 Football Team to get a result against their counterparts from the People’s Republic of China.
In its second match in the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualification, the Philippines suffered a 0-8 defeat against China, Sunday afternoon, at the Shah Alam Stadium in Selangor, Malaysia.
The Filipinos were heavy underdogs against a China side managed by legendary football manager Guus Hiddink, who won the European Cup back in 1988 with Dutch side PSV Eindhoven and led South Korea to fourth place in the 2002 World Cup.
A goal for China was inevitable. When Europe-based player Shan Huanhuan scored in the 10th minute, that signaled the moment the Filipinos’ floodgates opened as the Chinese scored seven more goals soon after.
Hu Jinghang followed up Huanhuan’s opener four minutes later, and notched a brace in the 42nd minute. Beforehand, Huang Cong and Lin Lianming put the ball in the back of the net in the 19th and 29th minutes respectively.
Already up by five goals at the break, the Chinese showed the Filipinos no mercy, as they scored thrice more after halftime. Zhang Yuning added his name to the scoresheet in the 49th and 90th minutes, while Huanhuan scored once again at the 77th minute.
The result was the Philippines’ second defeat. Its hopes to qualify out of Group J to participate in the 2020 AFC U-23 tourney and the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo are virtually over.
The Philippines hopes to regain some pride when it faces Laos in its final assignment in the competition. That game will be played on March 26, 2019, 4:30 PM.