Kuala Lumpur: The Philippines survived a late score from Timor-Leste to run out 3-2 winners and make it two wins from two matches to start their AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 campaign.

It was Timor-Leste, the nominal ‘home’ side in this encounter, who should’ve taken the lead in just the fifth minute when Nelson Sarmento Viegas was played through one-on-one with Azkals keeper Michael Falkesgaard, but a wonderful save from Falkesgaard denied the Timorese a shock early lead.

It took a while for the Philippines to settle, but when they did they took control of the match and they took the lead on 27 minutes when Phil Younghusband fired home from the edge of the area. 

Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side doubled their lead just over five minutes later when Martin Steuble was afforded too much space on the edge of the area, firing home with his left foot past the outstretched hand of Aderito Fernandes to make it 2-0 for the Azkals heading into half time.

The Azkals had a third on 68 minutes when Carli De Murga was left unmarked from Kevin Ingreso's free kick, heading home with ease past Aderito.

But just as the visitors looked to be cruising Timor-Leste got a lifeline when Paul Mulders fouled Nelson in the area, with the referee having no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Nataniel Reis was tasked with taking the spot kick and he made no mistake, sending Falkesgaard the wrong way to claw one back for the Timorese. 

Just two minutes later they had a second when Joao Pedro was beautifully played in behind the Philippines defence by Henrique Wilson, rounding Falkesgaard to make it 3-2 with 15 minutes still to play.

But they couldn't find an equaliser for what would've been their first ever point at the AFF Suzuki Cup as the Philippines survived to make it two wins from as many matches to jump to second in Group B behind Thailand.

It is the high-flying Thailand that the Philippines will face next in Bacolod on Wednesday, while Timor-Leste round out their campaign away against Singapore, also on Wednesday.