zkals United, a selection of current and former members of the Philippine national men’s football team, gallantly battled to a 1-all tie against third-tier South Korean club Icheon Citizen FC, only to lose in a penalty shootout, 4-2, in a charity match Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.
The Philippine side, which was playing without some of its top players because of United Football League commitments, bucked a 21st minute goal by Icheon striker Bin Tae Kwan, remaining aggressive throughout the match. Azkals mainstays Misagh Bahadoran and Chieffy Caligdong had opportunities early in the second half, but were unable to capitalize. Filipino-German Dennis Wolf, who was making his Azkals debut, also had several attempts that did not bear fruit.
Azkals United Icheon Citizens FC
Marwin Angeles (89') Bin Tae Kwan (21')
Still, Azkals United kept on the attack, and Marwin Angeles, a member of the Under-23 national squad, broke through with a goal in the 89th minute to equalize.
The rules of the friendly provided for no extra time after 90 minutes of play in case of a tied match, necessitating a penalty shootout.
The South Koreans knocked in all four of their penalty shots, while Angel Guirado, the first taker for the Philippines, and Carli de Murga, the last, missed their respective attempts. Chieffy Caligdong, who served as the captain for the match, and Ruben Doctora, a former national player, made their attempts for the Azkals.
Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss said he was happy with the result. “I want to congratulate the team, despite the loss,” he said, noting the fighting heart of the team during the comeback.
The proceeds of the match are set to go to victims of tropical storm “Sendong,” which affected thousands of families in southern Philippines. It was the second charity match played by a selection composed of Azkals players this month. On January 7, a Philippine selection dropped a 3-1 result to CF Internacional de Madrid.
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