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Filipino booters fall short vs Vietnam, exits FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines -- It’s a heartbreaker in Hanoi as the Philippines suffered a 2-3 defeat to Vietnam, losing on a stoppage-time goal, and crashed out of the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Thursday at the My Dinh Stadium.

Hoping for a repeat of the 2010 “Miracle in Hanoi” to stay alive in the race for tickets to the WCQ third round, the Pinoy booters put up a gutsy performance and even seized a 1-0 lead but couldn’t go all the way through and take the needed victory.

The result was catastrophic as the Philippines got stuck at one point on one draw and four losses with their rivals in Group F already out of reach going to the final match day.

Iraq, which stormed to its fifth straight win at the expense of Indonesia, 2-0, captured the top spot with a game to spare with 15 points. Indonesia, with seven points on 2-1-2 win-draw-loss, and Vietnam, with six points on 2-0-3, will dispute the No. 2 and the remaining seat to Round 3.

Vietnam faces Iraq on the road, while Indonesia hosts the Philippines on Tuesday at the close of second-round hostilities.

The Filipinos actually drew first blood against the Vietnamese with Patrick Reichelt scoring off a counter in the 62nd minute. Nguyen Tien Linh fired the equalizer just three minutes later then headed in the go-ahead at the 76th.

It wasn’t the last of the Filipinos, though, with Kevin Ingreso tying it up on a headed pass by Jesper Nyholm at the 89th. But in the end, the Vietnamese punched in the winner in the fifth minute of added time with sub Pham Tuan Hai sending the ball home off Neil Etheridge’s save.

“I think the best result for both should have been a draw,” said Philippine coach Tom Saintfiet.

“I am very disappointed in the game but naturally Vietnam is a good team but I am also very satisfied with the performance of my team and I think the boys deserve a draw. But Vietnam won and we have to learn from this."