Group A: Azkals fight back to beat Laos 4-1
(Simone Rota 40, Phil Younghusband 45+1, Patrick Reichelt 77, 88)
(Khampeng Sayavutth 21)
The Philippines kicked off the 2014 Suzuki Cup with an emphatic 4-1 comeback win over Laos at the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi on Saturday evening.
While the Azkals started the game brightly by creating several chances, the Laotians landed the first blow of the Group A encounter after 21 minutes through Khampeng Sayavutth's free-kick.
Despite the setback, the Filipinos continued to plug away at their opponents and were eventually rewarded with an equaliser through defender Simone Rota, who nodded home a Manuel Ott corner on 40 minutes.
Former Chelsea man Phil Younghusband put the 2012 semi-finalists ahead just nine seconds into first-half added time with a header off a Jerry Lucena cross from the left.
The Philippines then sealed the result in the second half through substitute Patrick Reichelt, who came on for Mark Hartmann in the 66th minute, with goals in the 77th and 88th minute. Both strikes came off assists from Younghusband.
Thomas Dooley's men will face Indonesia in their next match on Tuesday ahead of Laos' clash with Vietnam.