Philippines Azkals 2014 Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers versus Kuwait for 2-1

If you think the Philippine Azkals is over in the first half, then the team make a magic after they strive to win the game over the Mighty Kuwait for 2-1 score in favor of the Philippines Azkals.

In a  90-minute encounter, it was the experience and poise of Kuwait that prevailed as Al Azraq, despite playing with 10 men in the second half, still found their way to wipe out Phl’s one-goal edge and steal a 2-1 win last night in the 2014 Fifa World Cup Asian Qualifiers Second Round at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

Together with the 3-0 verdict they posted in Kuwait last Saturday, Al Azraq won the two-game series on goal aggregate, 5-1, to earn a berth in the third round and dash the Azkals’ World Cup hopes at least for now.

“This game and the previous game show how bitter and hard football can be,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss, who’s still a picture of optimism despite failing to scale the Everest-like challenge of Kuwait, the 10-time Gulf champions.

“A team like us that’s been fighting so bravely in the last six months, and even back to the Suzuki Cup last year, can be punished so severely. That’s a hard lesson to learn and take,” he added.

Fuelled by the enthusiastic crowd at the historic venue, the Azkals drew first blood and went into the break ahead, 1-0, enjoying the prospect of pulling a W over the mighty Al Azraq.

Fil-German Stephan Schrock, suspended in the first leg, was all over the place in his return to action. Schrock sent the leather home from 20 yards in the third minute of added time in the first half, setting off pandemonium all around the venue as tunes of Pinoy Ako and Impossible blared.

The Azkals got an added advantage in the 58th when Fahad Al Ebrahim was sent off for a hard tackle on Chieffy Caligdong.

But the personnel disadvantage inside did not dampen Kuwait a little.

Yousef Naser knocked down the equalizer on a long-range shot at the 61st, silencing the Filipino crowd which was then in the mood for celebration.

Al Azraq put the dagger on the stunned Filipinos in the 85th when Waleed Jumah knocked it down on a through ball that had goalkeeper Neil Etheridge rushing out.

“I think the team can take this defeat. We had to take it fairly and also acknowledge that we went up against a tough opponent,” Weiss said. “(Kuwait) Coach Goran (Tufegdzic) sees his team going all the way through the World Cup this year.”

Al Azraq advanced to the third round where Japan, Australia, South Korea, Bahrain and North Korea have been seeded, along with 14 other winners of Round 2.

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