Azkals falls to Chinese Taipei in FIFA friendly

By Ivan Stewart Saldajeno

June 20, 2023, 11:24 am

MANILA — The Philippine Azkals lost steam late and bowed to Chinese Taipei, 2-3, in their FIFA friendly on Monday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Lin Ming-Wei broke the hearts of the 3,758 fans inside the venue as he struck the winning goal for Chinese Taipei just before stoppage time.

Chinese Taipei struck first in an unconventional way in the second minute as Wu Yen-Shu's free-kick hit Mike Ott's head but still got past Neil Etheridge for the goal stunning the crowd.

The Azkals, however, equalized when Ott struck a penalty in the 13th minute after he was fouled by Wang Ruei inside the box.

The hosts then took the lead in the 38th minute when Patrick Reichelt, who still got the start despite getting hurt badly last Thursday against Nepal, scored from the left side of the penalty area.

However, from almost the same spot, Wu Yao-Hsing struck for Chinese Taipei in the 57th minute to make it 2-2.

Lin's heroics came right in the 90th minute when the ball went to him after Etheridge saved a teammate's initial attack.

Following a 2-2 draw at home against Thailand on Thursday night, Chinese Taipei, ranked 156th in the world, capped an impressive two-match stand against Southeast Asian teams and is expected to move up significantly in the FIFA rankings with the World Cup Qualifiers draw coming up. (PNA)