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Philippines booters bow to Vietnamese

MANILA, Philippines — It was 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 Tuesday 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.