By Jonas Terrado
(Al Maktoum Stadium, Dubai)
10 p.m. — Syria vs Philippines
The Philippine Azkals scored twice in the second half to beat host Maldives 2-1 Thursday in the 2022 FIFA World Cup/2023 AFC Asian Cup second round qualifiers at the National Stadium in Male.
Iain Ramsay broke the ice minutes after the restart before Patrick Strauss doubled the lead as the Azkals produced their second win after four matches in the second round qualifiers.
The Azkals tightened their grip on third spot in Group A after drawing level with China at seven points apiece.
China was playing group leader Syria as of posting time at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
Ramsay produced his first international goal in more than two years in the 52nd minute while Strauss produced second in the qualifiers in the 68th.
Naiz Hassan produced a consolation goal seconds before the final whistle as Maldives dropped four points behind the Philippines and China.
The Azkals fielded almost the same lineup that produce a scoreless draw against China last month in Bacolod City.
Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge made his 65th international appearance with Alvaro Silva, Carli de Murga, Luke Woodland and Daisuke Sato in front of the Azkals’ top shotstopper.
Ramsay started in place of Martin Steuble, who served a one-game ban for accumulated cards, and joined team captain Stephan Schrock, Strauss, Justin Baas at midfield while Mark Hartmann started in front.