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Azkals bow to White Falcons; end Asian Cup campaign with third straight loss

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By Erel Cabatbat

Vitalij Lux exploded with a hat trick to power Kyrgyz Republic to a 3-1 win over the Philippines in a crucial group C encounter of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai, UAE.

Lux, who plays in the 4th division of the German Bundesliga, took advantage of the Azkals’ poor defending to score goals in the 24th, 50th and 76th minutes to keep the White Falcons’ chances of progressing through the knockout stage via the four best third place rule.

Azkals’ team skipper Stephan Schrock scored off a free-kick in the 80th minute to pull one back for the Philippines.

It was the first-ever goal for the country in the Asian Cup.

Kyrgyztan dominated the game and was a step faster than the Azkals, who failed to bring back the defense they showed against South Korea in their opening game.

Despite being outplayed and out hustled by the White Falcons, the Azkals had several chances to score the last 10 minutes of the game.

Javier Patiño and Patrick Reichelt came so close in giving the Azkals at least another goal that could have changed the outcome of the game.