THE Philippine men’s football team failed to finish its three-country swing on a positive note, bowing to Laos, 1-2, on Monday night in a hot-tempered friendly at the National Stadium in Vientiane.
Playing their third match in five days, the Azkals looked lethargic throughout as they succumbed to a team 43 spots below them in the Fifa rankings.
The match was marred by numerous scuffles that led to red cards to Laos players and the Azkals’ Misagh Bahadoran.
The Azkals have yet to win against Laos in four matches. Both teams settled for a 2-2 draw in their last meeting in the 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup qualifying stage.
The shock defeat deflated the spirits of a team which just days earlier was celebrating a 2-0 breakthrough victory over Singapore in another friendly.
Taking advantage of the Azkals’ unnecessary fouls, the 193rd-ranked Laotians scored twice on penalty kicks in the 52nd and 66th minutes.
Veteran Defender Rob Gier scored a goal in stoppage time that went for naught for the Azkals, who actually led in shots (13-10), and corner kicks (5-3).