THE Philippines defied huge odds, holding North Korea to a stunning scoreless draw in their Fifa World Cup Qualifying match on Thursday at Kim Il-Sung Stadium in Pyongyang.
Proving resolute defensively, the Azkals earned an impressive result in enemy territory against a traditional Asian powerhouse in North Korea.
Neil Etheridge atoned for his early miscue that sparked the heavy 5-1 defeat to Uzbekistan last month as the Filipino-British goalkeeper shone brightest with a ton of timely saves to preserve the stalemate that felt like a win.
The match was not televised in the Philippines, leaving local fans dying in anticipation on social media, more so after eight minutes were added to stoppage time.
The Filipino booters thus earned a point for a total of seven to momentarily climb back to second spot ahead of Uzbekistan, which has six.
The Pinoys also forced the North Koreans, who last made the World Cup in 2010, to drop points for the first time after winning their first three assignments, although the home squad remained in first spot in the group with 10 points.
The Azkals’ killer overseas schedule continues as they fly to Manama ahead of their match against Bahrain on Tuesday.