The Philippine Azkals suffered a disappointing start to their 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign with a 1-2 defeat at the hands of host nation Singapore, Wednesday evening at the National Stadium.
The game came to life at the 62nd minute thanks to Singapore skipper Harris Harun, who was able to head the ball home off a corner.
Things then went bad to worse for the Filipinos as winger Faris Ramli converted Zulqarnaen Suzliman’s cross at the 64th minute.
Hope then sprung back up for the Azkals just when all looked lost after their quick collapse.
Off another corner, midfielder Amin Nazari was able to head the ball towards the back of the net at the 69th minute to provide the Filipinos a chance to salvage something.
The Philippines chased the game late in the period while Singapore did everything to protect its lead.
Substitute forward Angel Guirado shot wide in the final minutes of regulation and had a header parried away to safety by Singapore’s Hassan Sunny.
Beforehand, Azkals stopper Kevin Hansen was a busy man in the first half as the home side continuously bombarded his goal.
Forwards Gabriel Quak and Zulfahmi Arifin had their attempts at the Philippines’ goal but the 27-year-old kept them at bay. The Filipinos struggled to muster any kind of offense in the period as the Singaporeans were relatively untroubled.
The outcome leaves the Philippines with zero points in Group A. On the other hand, Singapore has one step into the semi-finals with six points thanks to back-to-back wins.
The Philippines looks to bounce back on this loss this Saturday when it takes on Timor Leste. The kickoff is scheduled at 5:30 PM at the National Stadium.
Philippines XI: Hansen (GK), Ingreso, Maranon, Sato, Aguinaldo, Baas, Schrock ©, Bias, Nazari, Steuble, Reichelt.
Singapore XI: Sunny (GK), Hamzah, Anumanthan, Fandi, Ramil, Suzliman, Harun ©, Fandi, Bahrudin, Quak, Arifin.