AFC ASIAN CUP 2019 QUALIFIERS: PHILIPPINES 4-1 NEPAL
Manilla: Captain Phil Younghusband scored twice in the first half as the Philippines made the ideal start to their 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign with a 4-1 home win over 10-man Nepal in Group F at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium on Tuesday.
Younghusband missed a penalty after Nepal’s Bikram Lama had been sent-off, but the Philippines captain made amends with two goals in the space of three minutes midway through the first half.
Iain Ramsay extended the advantage for the home side soon after, and after Bishal Rai had struck in first half stoppage time for the visitors, Javier Patino sealed the win in the closings stages of the second half.
The Philippines had an early chance to take the lead as Nepal’s Bikram Lama was sent off for handball after just 13 minutes, but visiting goalkeeper Kiran Chemjong saved Younghusband’s resulting penalty.
But the Philippines captain made no mistake after 21 minutes as the home side were awarded another spot kick following a foul by Rabin Shrestha on the striker, and despite the Nepal goalkeeper again guessing the right way, Younghusband’s strike was too good.
And just two minutes later the home side added a second as Younghusband converted from inside the penalty area.
The Philippines then added a third after 27 minutes as Nepal failed to deal with a free-kick played into the penalty area and Ramsay eventually hooked the ball into the bottom corner.
But in first half stoppage time Nepal pulled a goal back as substitute Bishal Rai ghosted into the penalty area to fire home following good work from the visitors.
The second half started as a cagey affair, but with 18 minutes remaining the home side restored their three-goal advantage as Patino fired home from inside the area.