THE men’s national football team opened its 2018 Bangabandhu Cup campaign with a rousing 3-1 victory over Laos, earning a semifinals berth on Wednesday night at the Sylhet District Stadium in Bangladesh.
Jovin Bedic, Jarvey Gayoso and Misagh Bahadoran scored as the Philippine Azkals advanced while Laos suffered its second defeat and fell out of contention.
Bedic was fouled inside the box and converted the penalty kick in the 44th minute.
Ateneo star Gayoso doubled the lead with a header in the 53rd minute, his first international goal in the seniors division, before veteran Bahadoran scored in the 82nd.
The Azkals veteran earned a penalty kick as Laos was called for a handball.
The Laotians got a consolation goal as the Azkals’ Hikaru Minegishi mistimed a tackle inside the box in the 88th minute. Phithack Kongmathilath nailed the penalty kick.
The Philippines takes on host country Bangladesh, a 1-0 winner over Laos, for the No. 1 spot in Group B on Friday at 8:30 p.m.