It could have been a historic first win in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers for the Azkals but the Sri Lankan Brave Reds held them to a 1-1 draw Friday night at the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo Sri Lanka.
The Philippine team had difficulties in the first half against the Sri Lankans’ tough defense.
At the 43rd minute, Sri Lanka scored the first goal courtesy of Chathura Gunarathna. Azkals’ midfielder Nate Burkey, on the other hand, leveled the count to 1-1 at the 50th minute.
Sri Lanka’s rough game challenged the temper of James Younghusband, Aly Borromeo and Stephan Schrock, who were given yellow cards for various offenses.
The Azkals will face the Sri Lankan team once again this July 3 but this time, it’s gonna be held at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
The Philippines needs to either win or hold Sri Lanka to a goalless draw in the upcoming leg to advance to the next round.
Cambodia, Nepal, Mongolia and Palestine overcame their respective opponents in other qualifying matches.