|Misagh Bahadoran was back with the Azkals after a long lay-off, skippering the side to a 3-1 win over Laos in Bangladesh. file|
The Philippines opened their campaign in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup with a 3-1 win on Laos Wednesday evening in Sylhet, Bangladesh.
With the win, the Azkals reserves led by Anto Gonzales were also through to the semifinal without any complications, and they will take on the host nation on Friday after leading group B by virtue of superior goal difference.
Laos, meanwhile, ended their campaign at the bottom of the group and without a point after dropping their opener against Bangladesh two days ago.
Jovin Bedic put the Azkals ahead at the stroke of half-time to open his international account on his first start from the spot, keeping Saymanolinh Paseuth grounded after being tripped by Kaharn Phetsivilay in the box.
In the second half, the Philippines turned it on and Jarvey Gayoso headed home his inaugural strike in senior level, converting on a Hikaru Minegishi cross to double their lead eight minutes into the restart.
Skipper Misagh Bahadoran then put the finishing touches in the tie when he tucked in the spot kick Paseuth's left side eight minutes before full time, ending his goal drought that spanned for a year.
Before exiting the South Asian nation, Laos get a consolatory strike from the spot with Pithack Kongmathilath two minutes before full time.
Philippines: Casas (GK), Marasigan, Clariño (Barbaso 75'), Aguinaldo, Alquiros (Sarmiento 70'), Marwin Angeles, Arboleda, Minegishi, Gayoso (Salenga 61'), Bedic, Bahadoran (C)
Laos: Paseuth (GK), Vongsa, Souksavath, Sipasong (C), Phetsilvay (Natphasouk 46'), Singsavang, Bounkong (Xayxanapanya 46'), Kongmathilath, Innalay, Phommalivong (Phommaxay 72'), Waenvongsoth
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