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Timor Leste stuns U23 Azkals on late goal

The Azkals struggled to get past Timor Leste as they were completely shut out in the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qualifiers. AFC
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The U23 Azkals were just 45 minutes shy of pulling off the biggest upset in the AFC U23 Asian Cup qualifiers against South Korea.

On Sunday night, they fell to the biggest upset in Group H play.

A late goal gave Timor Leste a huge 1-0 win over the U23 Azkals in the final night of the qualifiers on Sunday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.

Timor Leste, seemingly too inferior on paper but held bubble host Singapore to a 2-2 draw in Matchday 1 on Monday night, stunned the U23 Azkals in the 89th minute when Zenivio Conceicao Mota scored the lone goal of the match, which was temporarily halted midway through the first half after a lightning struck near the pitch.

With the huge upset, Timor Leste tied Singapore, which lost, 1-5, later Sunday to eventual Group H winner South Korea, with four points, although Singapore took the tiebreaker on a better goal difference.

Despite of that, Singapore failed to qualify as among the four best second placers as its draw against Timor Leste became the fatal blow.

Due to an uneven number of teams per group, Singapore's 1-0 win over the U23 Azkals on Thursday night was canceled out in determining the next four wildcard entries.

Meanwhile, the loss capped a disappointing stint for the U23 Azkals, which lacked the necessary offensive firepower as they only brought in four strikers in their training pool.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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