MANILA, Philippines – After an opening game loss to the mighty North Koreans, the Philippine Azkals came back strong to give former champion India a 2-0 drubbing in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup.
The Azkals showed better ball handling against the Indians, who were constantly placed into defensive mode because of the Azkals’ consistent attacks.
In the 10th minute, Phil Younghusband pushed the Philippines ahead with a left-footed shot to the goal.
Jason Sabio made a long throw in to James Younghusband, who flicked the ball toward Phil.
Phil then turned around and fired the shot to put the Azkals at a 1-0 advantage over the Blue Tigers.
The Filipino-British striker followed up his effort with two more attempts at the goal in the 36th and 42nd.
In the second half, Phil teamed up with his brother for another goal on the 73rd minute.
Phil received a quick assist from James before sending the ball to the back of the net. This hiked the Azkals’ lead to 2-0.
The win was a history of sorts for the Philippines, as it was their first time to win over the 2008 titlist.
The Philippines suffered losses to India in 1971 (5-1) and in 1996 (2-0).
In 2006, however, the Azkals held the Indians to a 1-1 deadlock.
The Philippines is now tied with Tajikistan in the Group B standings with 3 points each.
North Korea leads the group with 6 points following their 2-0 drubbing of Tajikistan.
India, meanwhile, remained scoreless after two successive losses to Tajikistan and the Philippines.
The Azkals will face another former Challenge Cup champion in Tajikistan on Tuesday.
A win against Tajikistan will assure the Azkals a seat in the Challenge Cup semis.
The game will again be aired live on Studio 23.