THE Philippines suffered a 1-0 loss to South Korea on Monday night in its AFC Asian Cup debut at the Al-Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
Hwang Ui-Jo scored in the 67th minute from inside the six-yard box to stave off the Azkals’ gallant stand in the match.
Going on the defensive throughout the match, the Azkals found themselves in a scoreless tie against the Koreans until Hwang Hee-Chan found Hwang Ui-Jo inside the box for the goal.
Veteran striker Phil Younghusband came in as a substitute in the 89th minute to no avail as the Azkals lost in their first match in the continental showpiece.
Nevertheless, the result was seen as already an impressive one for the Azkals against the Koreans, who are the runners-up in the last edition of the Asian Cup in 2015.
The Philippines will next face China on Friday at the Mohammed Bin Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, before wrapping up the group stage on January 16 against Kyrgyzstan at the Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.