Philippines Football side counted themselves lucky as they only managed to seal the match with a narrow 3-2 win against Fiji in the international friendly at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila.
The Vodafone National Football side put up an impressive second half performance, however the Azkals proved too strong for the visitors.
Trailing 3-0 within an hour of play, the Bula Boys came in with two unanswered goals in the last quarter of the game as the hosts’ sustained immense pressure towards the end.
Phil Younghusband found the opener for Philippines in the 28th minute after being awarded a controversial penalty.
Fiji struggled to beat the Philippines defenders with wonder-boy Roy Krishna starting from the bench as he joined the team a day before departing for Manila.
However, Krishna was introduced in the 40th minute of play replacing one of the national team debutant Filipe Baravilala.
The Azkals continued its first half performance as they found the net twice in the 52nd and 61st minute respectively with Fijian goalkeeper Epeli Loaniceva beaten on both occasions.
Fiji head coach Christophe Gamel then sent in two more debutants Kishan Sami and Epeli Leiroti with Epeli Saukuru and the boys found the rhythm.
Zibraaz Sahib broke away in the 74th minute and played Roy Krishna, who then over-lapped it to Ame Votoniu to get Fiji on the score-sheet.
With continuous pressure, Roy Krishna broke away once again in the 79th minutes having beaten tw defenders and goalkeeper, however he was fouled by the beaten goalkeeper inside the box. Krishna successfully converted and made it 3-2.
Philippines sustained immense pressure during the latter stages of the game as Fiji tried all possibilities to find the equalizer but the Azkals defense stood firm till the final whistle.
Fiji will now play Kaya FC (a professional second ranked club in Philippines) tomorrow