Philippines claimed their first win at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup after beating Group B opponents Laos 2-0 at the Addu Football Stadium on Thursday.
Having been held to a 0-0 draw by Afghanistan in their campaign opener, the Azkals entered the game determined to get off the mark and duly opened the scoring four minutes before halftime; Simone Rota lashing the ball into the top corner after Stephan Schrock’s attempted cross had been cleared into his path.
And in the 64th minute, they went on to wrap up the three points after Patrick Reichelt met Phil Younghusband’s corner with a precise header beyond the despairing dive of Vathana Keodouangdeth.
With Afghanistan beating Turkmenistan 3-1 in Thursday’s other Group B clash, Philippines will advance to the semi-finals as long as they avoid defeat against the Turkmen on Saturday.
Philippines: Roland Muller, Simone Rota, Rob Gier, Juan Luis Guirado (Amani Aguinaldo 49’), Dennis Cagara, Jason De Jong, Paul Mulders, James Younghusband (Martin Steuble 46’), Stephan Schrock (Ruben Doctora 72’), Patrick Reichelt, Phil Younghusband.
Laos: Vathana Keodouangdeth, Ketsada Souksavanh, Saychon Khunsamnan, Khonesavanh Sihavong (Sousadakone Liepvisay 59’), Phoutthasay Khochalern, Soukaphone Vongchiengkham, Lembo Saysana (Viengsavanh Sayyaboun 67’), Bountavy Sipasong, Khamla Pinkeo (Sengdao Inthilath 77’), Khampheng Sayavutthi, Tiny Boumalay.