MANILA (16 March 2012) – The red card on goalkeeper Neil Etheridge in the closing stages of the game further compounded the Philippines exit from the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 following their 2-1 loss to Turkmenistan in the semi-final that was played at the Dashrath Stadium tonight.
“Mistakes happen but this was a match we should have won,” said Michael Weiss, the chief coach of the Philippines. “However, we have done better than most people expected us to do and we have represented the Philippines very well.
“It’s a very disappointing end to the tournament although we still have the third-place play-off and we will do our best to win that. It was an even game with many chances but didn’t take those chances. We didn’t kill the game off. We settled too deep and didn’t deal well with the Turkmen attacks.”
The game should have been for the Philippines for the taking when they took the lead in the 25th minute off Phil Younghusband when he headed home the cross from Paul Mulder. The score at the end of the first half was 1-0 to the advantage of the Philippines.
But the last quarter of the game would turned out to be pivotal for Turkmenistan when in the 79th minute, Arslanmyrat Amanov found the equaliser with a low drive past the reach of Etheridge.
With just four minutes to play, a mistake from Roel Gener allowed Guvanch Abylov to steal the ball for Gahryman Chonkayev to score the winning shot.