PMNFT vs Indonesia

PMNFT Closes World Cup Qualifiers Campaign With Loss to Indonesia, Keeps Eyes on Next Target

Closing their 2026 World Cup Qualifying campaign with a 0-2 loss to Indonesia, it’s back to the drawing board for the PMNFT.

The Philippine Men’s National Football Team (PMNFT) closed their 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers campaign with a tough 0-2 loss to Indonesia in the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. This was always going to be a tough matchup for the Philippines, as Indonesia, already heavily favored, also needed the win at home to secure their ticket to the third round of the qualifiers — and they played like it.

Dominating the ninety minutes, Indonesia was the superior team tonight. Firing 20 shot attempts with seven on target, it was Thom Haye and Rizky Ridho who scored to send Indonesia to keep their World Cup dreams alive and well. This was a more one-sided fight in comparison to their 1-1 draw earlier in the tournament.

The Philippines bowed out of contention following their heartbreaking 2-3 loss to Vietnam just five days ago. However, this left Head Coach Tom Saintfiet with more room to experiment, especially with many new additions to the squad.

One notable change by Saintfiet was starting Kevin Ray Mendoza in the place of longtime keeper Neil Etheridge. With this change, Patrick Reichelt led the team as captain tonight.

Here’s how the match unfolded.

First half woes

It was clear from the get-go that Indonesia was in a must-win scenario as they opened the match aggressively, creating early chances to score. The Philippines, meanwhile, struggled to win back the ball and maintain possession, allowing Indonesia to continue building momentum.

Halfway through the first period, Indonesia began to fire shot after shot. PMNFT keeper Kevin Ray Mendoza, who last started for the Philippines in 2022, made impressive back-to-back saves to keep their opponents at bay.

But, with Indonesia slipping through the Philippines’ midfield, it was only a matter of time before they would score. It was eventually Thom Haye who found the back of the net with a stunning strike from a distance to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.

A rough close-out

The Filipinos came into the second half looking more composed, able to create better-looking chances straightaway and improve their defense. Finding more space on the pitch, the visiting team looked eager to push the ball forward to level the score.

However, it wasn’t long before Indonesia was attacking again. With a free kick in the 56th minute, Rizky Ridho finished off a perfect cross to bring their lead to two goals.

From then on, the PMFNT, with nothing to lose, continued to try their luck. Saintfiet utilized all five of his substitutions to bring on Amani Aguinaldo, Griffin McDaniel, Pocholo Bugas, Jarvey Gayoso, and Paul Tabinas. Continuing to push higher on the pitch, the match was put to a long halt when Adrian Ugelvik collided with Indonesia’s keeper, Ernando Ari, sending them both to the ground.

Ugelvik stayed face down on the field, prompting the medical teams to attend to him. An ambulance followed shortly after to take him out of the match, causing concern on the Philippines’ side, but the PMNFT were quick to report that he was in stable condition with updates to follow.

With Christian Rontini taking his place, the Philippines played the additional seven minutes of stoppage time pushing forward for a last-minute goal to close their campaign, but to no avail. Indonesia kept the visitors at bay to get a clean 2-0 victory to send them to the next round of the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers.

This was definitely not the finish that the PMNFT was looking for, as they exit the 2026 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers winless. However, Saintfiet remarked that the team has their targets set for later this year.

“We are building a team for later this year (late November), for the Mitsubishi Electric Cup, where we will face Indonesia and Vietnam again — that’s more our target. This is a transition phase where we are building,” he told the media before the match.

With this, it’s back to the drawing board for the Men’s National Team.

Banner image from PMNFT on Facebook.

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