THE Philippine Azkals ended a breakthrough campaign in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 with a 3-1 loss to Kyrgyz Republic on Wednesday night at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
Vitalji Lux hit a hat-trick for Kyrgyzstan to doom the Azkals’ ambition of making it to the round of 16 of Asia’s most prestigious football tournament.
Stephan Schrock ended the Azkals' goal drought by scoring on a free kick in the 81st minute to give the Philippines a measure of consolation in a campaign that saw it lose all three games in the group stage.
Lux opened scoring in the 24th minute with a strike from the center of the penalty box. He followed that up with a shot from the top right corner that eluded Philippine 'keeper Michael Falkesgaard.
Lux completed his treble with a rebound off a shot by Mirlan Murzaev that hit the post.
The Philippines finished its maiden AFC Asian Cup campaign in last place in Group D, following defeats against Korea, 1-0, and China, 3-0, in the group stage.