Chinese Taipei pulled off a 2-1 upset against Philippine Azkals at the opening game of the 2013 Philippine Peace Cup football invitational Friday night at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
Azkals defeat against lower ranked Taiwanese is a major blow to Philippines’ title defense.
Li Mao of Chinese Taipei took advantage of Azkals miscommunication at the 14th minute and scored Chinese Taipei’s first goal via a high-looping shot in their counter attack.
An equalizer came at the first-half injury time when James Younghusband scored a header off a Patrick Reichelt dish in 45th minute.
Hoping to score an upset, Chinese Taipei shocked the Filipino fans when they scored their second goal at the 65th minute, to lead 2-1.
Late in the match, Misagh Bahadoran and Mark Hartman came in behalf of Younghusband and Jerry Barbaso, and then switched to full offensive mode in an attempt to score an equalizer.
But the Taiwanese defense proved too strong for the Azkals, and finished the game with 2-1 score.
The result was a shock to the defending champion Azkals, who beat Chinese Taipei, 3-1, en route to the Pea Cup title last year.
Philippine Azkals’ only hope now to retain the Peace Cup trophy is for Pakistan to beat Chinese Taipei on Sunday’s match, and Philippines’ to beat Pakistan on Tuesday.
The three-nation tournament is part of the Philippines’ training for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives.