Azkals The Philippines’ Sandro Reyes tries to elude a Chinese Taipei defender during Monday night’s international friendly. PFF photo

Azkals suffer tough 2-3 loss to Taipei

June 20, 2023 Theodore P. Jurado 359 views

THE Philippines closed out the June 2023 FIFA international window with a tough 2-3 setback against Chinese Taipei Monday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Mike Ott and Patrick Reichelt scored for the Azkals in the first half after an early Taiwanese goal courtesy of We Yen-shu.

Chinese Taipei leveled after Wang Geon-Myeong struck in the 61st minute and Lin Ming-Yei scored the match winner just minutes before the final whistle to the disappointment of 3,758 fans who braved the evening thunderstorms.

It was a sorry defeat for the Philippines, which was poised to preserve the draw after goalkeeper Neil Etheridge came through several key saves in the second half but it fell short.

“It was an absolute deserved win for Chinese Taipei,” said returning Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss. “Nevertheless, I think the potential is really there. If this group is fit, if these players who had to pull out last minute (return), we’ll see a different group.”

“Please don’t be disappointed. I think we can see many, many more positives in the next September, October and November windows,” he added.

The Philippines failed to follow up its 1-0 win over Nepal last Thursday that ended a four-match losing streak.

With the outcome of the two friendlies, Weiss somehow was still in high spirits and emphasized that in this window, it is not necessarily the wins or losses that count.

“We take risks. I’m not interested so much in results now. I’m more interested that we create chances, that we have opportunities, that we put the gas in the pedal, that we are active, and that’s what we’re doing,” said Weiss.

“We took a risk also with the young players, we wanted to give them a chance. I needed to see in this window who we can trust,” the German mentor added.