Stephen Schrock (17) during the U-22 Azkals group stage match against Myanmar on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium / Philstar.com/Luisa Morales
SANTA ROSA, Laguna — The Under-22 Philippine Azkals remain positive after absorbing their first defeat in the 30th Southeast Asian Games — a 1-2 setback at the hands of Myanmar on Wednesday.
After equalizing in the 45th minute with a Justin Baas goal, the Philippine booters just couldn’t hold down the fort with another Burmese booter finding the back of the net in the 78th minute.
“[It’s] not easy, not nice to lose that way but we must be looking forward to the next match, because we truly believe that we can do something on this,” U-22 Azkals head coach Goran Milojevic said in Serbian after the match.
Milojevic chooses to look at the positives, with his 11-man squad able to create numerous chances against last SEA Games’ fourth placers.
“At the second half, we decided to play offensively, we played 35 minutes excellent because we had many chances, kept the ball,” Milojevic said.
But it was ultimately stamina problems and injuries that made the difference, with the Burmese pouncing on the waning Azkals.
“We had problems with players who are tired, who are having injuries, cramps… We made some subs, they used one counter attack and scored,” Milojevic said.
With a draw and a loss in their campaign, the U-22 Azkals remain only with a single point so far. But with two more games coming their way, there are a lot of chances to bounce back.
Come their match against Malaysia on Friday, there is only one game plan for Milojevic: attack.
“For sure, we will try to play offensively,” he said.
Philippines vs. Malaysia kicks off on Friday at 8:00 p.m. at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.