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The Philippine Azkals' World Cup qualifying campaign ended after losing to a 10-man Kuwaiti squad, 1-2 (1-5 on aggregate), in the second leg of their clash at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Thursday night.

The Kuwaitis, who were enjoying a 3-goal lead from the first leg, went on the attack right at the opening whistle as they funneled passes to the left wing. The Azkals, after being pinned back for several minutes, launched counterattacks with Phil Younghusband at the receiving end of long balls.

Kuwait had 2 golden opportunities to increase their aggregate lead over the Philippines. Two Kuwati strikes hit the upright, while another forced a flying save from Neil Etheridge. The second-leg deadlock was broken by a stunning long-range screamer from Azkals midfielder Stephan Schrock.

The Filipino-German, who missed the first leg because of suspension, connected on a thunderbolt from 30 yards that found its way past the outstretched arms of the Kuwaiti goalkeeper.

Kuwait was reduced to 10 men after Fahad Al Ebrahim was given his second yellow card for a bookable offense. However, they quickly recovered through a long-range goal by Yousef Nasser in the 61st minute.

A breakaway run by Waleed Ali in the 83rd minute resulted in an own goal by Ray Anthony Jónsson who tried to kick the ball away from the goal. It silenced the Azkals, who failed to capitalize on having an extra man.

Azkals coach Michael Weiss commended the Philippine team for its valiant effort against the Kuwaiti squad. "I want to congratulate my team for a fantastic effort," he said. Weiss said the Philippine team still has a bright future in football. "The Philippines has super potential, [just] give us a little bit more time," he said.

Members of the team also showed appreciation to the Filipino fans who cheered for them even after they lost the game. "The Azkals were so game and thankful, they went around the entire stadium just really applauding the Filipino audience," reported ABS-CBN's Dyan Castillejo.

"This is why they they are inspired. It's because of the Filipino fans who have shown unbelievable support not only in the Philippines but we also have Filipinos cheering for us watching via TFC in Europe, in Australia and in other parts of Asia," she added.

It was the country's longest journey in the history of the FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Azkals is the first team in Philippine sports history to break through the 1st round of the qualifiers. They defeated the Sri Lankan Brave Reds on a 5-1 aggregate to arrange the 2nd-round match-up against Kuwait.

Kuwait, however, was too tough an opponent for the Azkals.