Vitali Lux's hat-trick puts Kyrgyzstan in good position to qualify for Asian Cup last 16
Philippines beaten 3-1 in final Group C clash in Dubai
Vitali Lux was the hero for Kyrgyzstan as his hat-trick not only gave his side a 3-1 triumph over the Philippines but also put them in a strong position to qualify for the knockout stages of the Asian Cup.
Kyrgyzstan had lost their opening two games in Group C to China and South Korea, results that meant they could not automatically qualify for the last 16.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's Philippines had been also pointless so both sides knew that a draw would do neither side any favours in being among the best four third-place sides in the competition.
After a tense start at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai it was Kyrgyzstan who opened the scoring in the 24th minute as Lux got the first of his two goals.
He found the net from close range after getting on the end of Akhlidin Israilov's centre.
His second came in similar fashion six minutes after the break to effectively end any hope for the Philippines.
The 29 year old, who plays for German club SSV Ulm, completed his treble 13 minutes from time.
The Philippines did have a late consolation as they scored their first goal of the tournament as Stephan Schrock found the net in the 84th minute.
The result leaves Kyrgyzstan on three points, but with an even goal difference and it would need some high scoring, and one-sided, encounters in Thursday's final matches for them to not qualify as one of the best third-place teams.
Updated: January 16, 2019 07:25 PM