Azkals fall to Myanmar in gritty matchup

Myanmar walked away victorious over the U22 Azkals. Jojo Lirio/Smile8
By Drew Malihan

MANILA -- The Philippines suffered a 1-2 defeat at the hands of a visiting Myanmar side in their second match in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games men's football tournament at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Wednesday.

Ayeyawady United's Aung Kaung Mann drew first blood for the Asian Lions in the 19th minute from a sudden letdown of defense from the Azkals.

Aung Kaung Mann had another shot at goal in the 35th minute but was bothered by both defender Amani Aguinado and keeper Anthony Pinthus.

It was in the 45th minute when Yrik Gallantes set the ball for Dennis Chung, who found Justin Baas and fancied a goal for the Azkals, settling to a 1-1 draw before halftime.

Baas and skipper Stephan Schrock led the Azkals' offense in the second half, while Aung Kaung Mann still bothered the defense with his series of attacks within 28 minutes.

Yadanarbon's Win Naing Tun, who subbed in at the middle of the second half, spelled the difference for the Asian Lions in the 79th minute with the go-ahead goal.

The Azkals continued to hold their ground in the dying minutes with Pinthus preventing a third Myanmar goal with a crucial save.

A free kick and a corner was awarded to the Azkals but to no avail, prompting the Myanmar side to escape with full three points in the bag.

Myanmar sits on the top of the table for the meantime with 4 points while the Philippines dropped to fourth in Group A still with one point.

The Asian Lions will meet Timor-Leste while Azkals are scheduled to face a strong Malaysian side in a crucial face-off on Friday.

Follow him on Twitter: @drewmalihan