U-22 Azkals out of SEA Games contention despite win over Timor Leste

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
U-22 Azkals out of SEA Games contention despite win over Timor Leste
Stephan Schrock (17) during the U-22 Azkals game against Myanmar. Schrock scored the winning goal against Malaysia on Friday.
Philstar.com / Luisa Morales

MANILA, Philippines — The Under-22 Azkals powered their way to an easy 6-1 victory against Timor Leste at the Biñan Football Stadium on Wednesday in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. 

But with Cambodia winning its match against Malaysia 3-1, the Philippines fails to advance to the semifinals due to goal difference.

The U-22 Azkals have an inferior +5 goal difference compared to Cambodia's +7. 

The Filipino booters came out with a spirited performance right off the bat as Stephan Schrock scored in just the fourth minute to put the Azkals on top. 

Timor Leste refused to go quietly as an offensive 20 minutes into the match saw them attempt a goal that was eventually disallowed. In the 33rd minute, Schrock picked up his second yellow of the tournament, which disqualifies him from playing in the team's next match.

The Azkals struck back in the 43rd minute as Amani Aguinaldo scored a goal off a Schrock corner assist to put his team up 2-0. Later in the 55th minute, a Mar Diano header off yet another Schrock assist put the Azkals up 3-0. 

It was all the Azkals' from then on, as Dylan de Bruycker and Aguinaldo scored a goal each in the 78th and 86th minutes, respectively, as the Philippines pulled away, 5-0. 

Aguinaldo attempted to close the game out with a goal at the 90” mark. But Timor Leste scored their second goal of the tournament at the last minute, ending the game at 6-1. 

Heading into the match, the Philippines needed to win big to bolster their bid for a semifinals berth, following last Friday's crucial win against Malaysia that put them back in contention.

But for the Azkals to garner a podium finish, they needed to rout the eliminated and scoreless Timor Leste, and for the Cambodia-Malaysia match to end up in a draw. 

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