Kathmandu: India`s hopes of winning the AFC Challenge Cup football tournament went up in smoke after they suffered a 0-2 defeat to Philippines on Sunday.
This was India`s second defeat in the tournament – they lost to Tajikistan by a similar margin in their opening match on Friday.
Philip James Younghusband, who was part of the Chelsea squad for three years from 2005, struck both the goals as India struggled for the second consecutive time at the Dashrath Stadium.
Younghusband struck in the 10th and 73rd minute to keep his team`s chances of advancing to the knockout stage alive, while India are out of the tournament following two successive losses.
Savio Medeira`s boys play defending champions North Korea in an inconsequential final match.
Both the teams resorted to counter-attacks in the initial moments.
But it was Younghusband of Philippines who was able to cash in on the opportunity and put his team in the lead.
Down by an early goal, India tried to pull things back.
But despite dominating the first half, the midfield failed to turn the table.
They kept losing the ball and it didn`t help the team`s cause. The Indians did break into the rival box quite a few times but were unable to take a shot at the rival goal.
Changing over, the story stayed the same.
On the contrary, Philippines doubled their lead in 74th minute, with Younghusband scoring his second.
Apart from a Sushil Singh run down the right which captain Sunil Chhetri failed to tap in from close, there weren`t many chances that came India`s way.
First Published: Sunday, March 11, 2012, 20:18