THE Philippine men’s football team bowed to Indonesia 0-2 on Wednesday night in a Fifa friendly at the packed Manahan Stadium in Solo, Central Java.
The Azkals gave up a goal in each half and remained winless in 21 matches (19 losses, two draws) against the Indonesians since 1958.
Greg Nwokolo, a naturalized Indonesian from Nigeria, and Muhammad Roby provided the goals for the Merah Putih, who registered their first victory—friendly or in a tournament—this year after six straight losses, including two matches against English clubs Liverpool and Arsenal.
Behind by a goal, the Azkals turned it up a notch in the second half and threatened with Phil Younghusband, OJ Porteria, Misagh Bahadoran, and Marwin Angeles coming up with shots that only went off the mark.
But instead of equalizing, the Filipino booters saw themselves buried in a huge hole when Roby doubled the lead with a header he caught from a corner from the left side in the 65th minute.
Caught flat-footed on defense, the Azkals surrendered the first goal 31 minutes into the game when Stefano Lilipaly caught a free kick from the right flank before feeding Nwokolo for the short-range conversion.
The Indonesians’ first goal came when the Azkals momentarily went a man down as Phil Younghusband received medical attention after getting tackled by an Indonesian defender.
Mark Hartmann gave the Azkals their best chance in the first half when his header off a James Younghusband cross went wide left two minutes before stoppage time.