Philippine national football team Azkals bows to Indonesia after dropping a 2-0 loss in Wednesday night’s friendly match at the jampacked Manahan Stadium in Solo, Central Java.
In front of a rowdy crowd that brought banners and fireworks, Indonesia defeated the Philippines for the 20th time in their 22 meetings based on the official records of the Philippine Football Federation.
Far from their best form with majority of their players on a break from league play, the Azkals conceded a goal in each half and lost for the third time in four meetings against their Southeast Asian rivals.
Indonesia broke the ice when naturalized player Greg Nwokolo scored from close range after receiving a short cross by Stefano Lilipaly amid three Azkals defenders in the 31st minute.
Muhammad Roby added a second goal in the 66th when he struck a quick header off a cross to extend Indonesia’s dominance of the Azkals in international play.
“We had difficulty adjusting especially in the first half when we barely had any chance at goal and it was quite frustrating to see that but I think we were able to adjust in the second half especially in the last 20 minutes,” said Azkals team manager Dan Palami.
Indonesia was the first Asian team to participate in the FIFA World Cup, at which time the team qualified for the 1938 FIFA World Cup tournament in France.
The Philippine National men’s football team, also known as the Azkals, improved to 141 in the FIFA rankings, its highest placing ever in the international football body’s latest update, Thursday.