THE Philippine men’s football team leaned on a strong start to stun Kyrgyzstan, 2-1, in an international friendly in the opponent’s turf on early Wednesday morning in Bishkek.
The Azkals turned to Kevin Ingreso and Misagh Bahadoran to get ahead before weathering an onslaught by the 105th-ranked team in the world to prevail on the road.
Ingreso finished a free kick from Phil Younghusband to score his first international goal late in the first half, before Bahadoran, tranlsating his sizzling form from domestic to international play, doubled the lead with a header early in the second half for the visitors.
Kyrgyzstan pulled a goal back in the 60th minute and took the fight to the Azkals to no avail no thanks to the defense of goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, who was named Man of the Match, center-backs Amani Aguinaldo and first-time starter Dennis Villanueva, and wingbacks Daisuke Sato and Martin Steuble.
Manny Ott pulled the strings with Ingreso at midfield, Iain Ramsay was on the left wing opposite Bahdoran, while James Younghusband completed the starting lineup up front in the match that jumpstarted the Azkals' preparations for the Suzuki Cup.