Miscues on defense spelled doom for the Philippine Azkals as they fell to Bahrain, 1-3 in an international friendly, Friday evening at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Bahraini skipper Aadem Khabir hit the first of his two conversions four minutes into the first half, immediately putting pressure on the home team.
The Pinoy side managed to get off decent attempts, courtesy of Kevin Ingreso and Manny Ott, but no conversions came as the Azkals headed into halftime trailing by a goal.
Just like in the first half, Khabir struck quickly, scoring for the second time in the match just a minute into the second half, driving home a header from a corner kick to push the Bahraini lead to two goals.
The Azkals found a bit of a spark in the second half in the form of Mike Ott, Manny's younger brother, who made his international debut.
The younger Ott made an immediate impact, scoring his first international goal by finishing off a volley from Martin Steuble and pulling the Azkals to just within a single conversion.
With an eternity of football left, the Azkals were unable to feed off Ott's momentum, and fail to equalize within the 90-minute regulation.
A minute into stoppage time, Mazrooq Alromaihi made the Azkals defense pay once more, scoring off a header to make it 3-1 in favor of the visitors.
Azkals assistant coach and Filipino football legend Chieffy Caligdong pointed out after the match that they needed to improve on transitioning from defense to offense.
"Siguro yung transition from defense to attacking and attack to defense. Kailangan lang yung individual responsibility nung players, alam nila by position." Caligdong told ABS-CBN Sports. "It was a good game but a bad result, and may mga changes pag-dating sa North Korea."
The Azkals won't have much time to get back to the drawing board, as they head right back to the pitch on Monday in another international friendly against North Korea.