MANILA (11 March 2012) – Philippines put the disappointment in their opening tie in Group B of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 to beat 2008 champions India in their second game in the group at the Dashrath Stadium in Nepal tonight.
The Philippines had conceded a 2-0 to defending champions DPR Koreans two days ago. But this time round, the Filipinos were more determined as Phil Younghusband scored both goals for them to pick up their first three points in the competition.
The win kept alive the Azkals hopes of a place in the semi-finals.
Younghusband, whose stoppage-time winner over Mongolia in the playoff ensured the Philippines participation in the qualifying campaign, had three great chances to score in the first half and he converted one of them.
The former Chelsea reserve striker showed his skills inside the box after receiving a sublime cross from the flank by fullback Jason Sabio and coolly directed the ball past India keeper Karanjit Singh as the Philippines took a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute.
The remaining two chances came to him in the 36th and 43rd minute but his first effort sailed over the bar while the second went a whisker the wrong side of the post.
India had a sight on goal in the 67th minute but defender Raju Eknath’s header was well wide after he managed to connect with Syed Nabi’s free-kick.
Man of the match Younghusband scored his brace and put the match beyond India’s reach after a brilliant one-two with his brother James Younghusband before finding the top corner in the 74th minute that left Karanjit rooted to the spot.
DPR Korea, who booked their place in the final four after defeating Tajikistan 2-0, with nothing but pride to play for, while the Philippines will be hoping Younghusband maintains his prolific form when they face the Tajiks in a battle to see who joins the defending champions in the next round.
AFC CHALLENGE CUP 2012
CURRENT GROUP B STANDINGS