The Philippine national Under-22 football team squandered an early lead to yield a 5-1 result to Myanmar to open its campaign in the Asian Football Confederation U-22 Asian Cup qualifiers Saturday night at the Youth Training Centre in Yangon, Myanmar.
Filipino-Belgian winger Jeffrey Christiaens scored on a penalty at the fifth minute for the lone goal of the U-22 Azkals, who looked poised to pull off an upset in front of the home crowd after taking the early advantage.
But the Philippines failed to contain the relentless attack of Myanmar, as midfielder Kyaw Zayar Win tied the match at the 28th minute. Forward Kyaw Ko Ko then sank back-to-back goals at the 41st and the 46th minute to give Myanmar a commanding 3-1 lead at halftime.
The home squad continued its onslaught in the second half, with defender Yan Aung Win hitting the back of the net at the 62nd minute and Kyaw Win nailing his second goal at the 75th to help Myanmar put the match away.
The loss put the Philippines at the bottom of the standings with a goal differential of minus-four, while Myanmar enjoys the early leadership in Group G after the first day of the tournament.
South Korea and Chinese Taipei are tied for second place in the group after wins against Malaysia and Vietnam, respectively.
The U-22 Azkals will take a break on Sunday before plunging back into action on Monday to face Malaysia.
To get past the group stages, the Philippines needs to finish in the top two of Group G, or be the best third-placer of the tournament, to qualify for the inaugural U-22 Asian Cup in 2013.