Youthful Azkals bow to Indons, 2-0, in friendly
Alder Almo (The Philippine Star) - August 15, 2013 - 1:13pm

MANILA, Philippines – One step backward, two steps forward.

This seemed to be the Philippine Azkals’ ploy in losing yet again to perennial tormentor Indonesia, 2-0, in a friendly Wednesday night before an overflowing crowd at the Manahan Stadium in Sukarta, Indonesia.

Azkals’ German coach Hans Michael Weiss traded the opportunity to win to gain valuable experience for the future core of the team as he opted to give more playing time to the young turks.

Mark Hartmann and Jeff Christiaens started while OJ Porteria, Amani Aguinaldo, Jerry Barbaso, Misagh Bahadoran and Marwin Angeles came off the bench.

The 169th ranked Indons, buoyed up by an animated huge home crowd, attacked and challenged the new-look starting unit of the Azkals and finally got rewarded when Greg Nwokolo scored off a Stefano Lilipaly cross in the 31st minute.

With their leagues in the middle of the season, the Indons looked sharper and played more compact than the Azkals, who showed up with a younger lineup. 

Hartmann gave the Azkals their first and only shot on goal in the opening half but his header off James Younghusband’s cross sailed wide.

Porteria and Angeles both came in for Chieffy Caligdong ang Hartmann, respectively, before the second half started.

Porteria, a rising star in the UFL with Kaya FC, immediately made his presence felt firing a long shot that fell straight to the Indon keeper. Moments later, Phil Younghusband fed the ball to Porteria but his cross found no teammate on the other side.

Indonesia doubled the lead in the 66th minute with a Muhammad Roby header.

It was the 20th loss of the Philippines against the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup champions in 22 meetings with the other two matches resulting in a draw.  

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