Azkals stun North Korea...Goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was once again in fine form as the Philippines ended their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying campaign in style with a surprise 3-2 victory over North Korea.
Misagh Bajadoran’s 43rd-minute header put the Azkals in front, only for So Kyung Jin to level almost immediately with a powerful right-footed strike.
North Korea went 2-1 ahead shortly after the restart when Ri Hyok Chol poked home following a goalmouth scramble.
Manny Ott’s crisp low drive pulled the Philippines level on 84 minutes, and Iain Ramsey then sealed a dramatic victory with a confident finish in the final minute of normal time.
“We’ve got great stamina, great fight, and we’ll never say no and we’ll keeping working until the last minute,” said Etheridge afterwards.
“The last two goals were fantastic. It shows how much we’ve worked on the training field and the coaches have done a fantastic job.”
The victory came five days after Etheridge produced a remarkable man-of-the-match performance in the Azkals’ 1-0 defeat against Uzbekistan.
The 26-year-old made a string of impressive saves, although Anzur Ismailov’s second-half header ultimately proved decisive.
The Philippines finish Group H in third place, with 10 points from eight matches.