High expectations were on the Philippine Men’s National Football Team’s shoulders as they played in front of the home crowd last Saturday evening at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan in but those expectations went to ashes when the 10-man Singapore team wrestled the Azkals into a goalless draw to open their 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign into a reflective note.
“It’s a little bit disappointing tonight, semis is still the goal, we will try to bounce back,” said team captain Phil Younghusband as the feisty Singaporeans give the home side a headache that prevented the several chances of the Filipinos to score a goal.
Azkals team manager Dan Palami rues the team’s lack of patience as they missed their several chances through the game with the best chance came to Hikaru Minegeshi in the second half. ‘’We did not convert our chances, they had three good chances but we did not convert it’’ Palami said.
“That’s the breaks of the game, I mean we need to be more patience and not too much in the hurry to score goals but they are a lot of things to work on the next game,” Palami added.
With Indonesia as their next game on Tuesday, Younghusband sees their next game as a do or die especially as the Indonesians made a good stand against powerhouse Thailand despite the 2-4 loss.
“We have to win the next game. Indonesia gave Thailand a tough game. They had speed and showed quality in their game but they need to move on and we also need to move on but we all know we need to win this game against them,” the Philippine team skipper shared.
Meanwhile for Palami, preparation is the key to avoid having the Azkals’ campaign go from bad to worse as they have Thailand to deal with on Friday.
“Indonesia is a very good team. I mean they got Thailand into trouble and of course we need to see how to defend their quick players. We will review the game and then it’s on the coaching staff to ensure we prepared well against Indonesia,” Palami echoed.