Philippines held at home but confident of making Suzuki final

by admin on January 29th, 2019

filed under 深圳桑拿网

The ‘Azkals’ had arguably the best of the play in the first leg in Manila, with the Thais forced on the defensive for the final 22 minutes after striker Adisak Kraisorn was sent off for an off-the-ball clash.


Once considered the whipping boys of the biennial Southeast Asian championships, the Philippines are competing in their third consecutive semi-final and forward Phil Younghusband believed his side were there on merit.

“I think we showed today we can compete with teams like Thailand,” he told reporters. “It’s a big advantage we did not concede a goal today.”

The Philippines were the first team to book a semi-final spot after opening with a 4-1 win over Laos and then a 4-0 success over Indonesia.

They lost 3-1 to Vietnam in a tired final group stage display, setting up a tougher semi-final against the three-times champion Thais, who swept Group B with wins over Singapore, Myanmar and Malaysia.

The Thais, though, will be without the suspended Adisak for the second leg, with first choice forward Kirati Keawsombut struggling to be fit after being taken off on a stretcher in the first half in Manila with a suspected hamstring injury.

A scoring draw on Wednesday will be enough to send the Philippines through on away goals, and coach Tom Dooley predicted the early stages of the second leg would be key.

“If we can hold them for the first 15 to 20 minutes I think we can have a good chance,” the German-American coach said.

“They will try and do everything to beat us at home and we just have to be ready. I have seen the sparks in our side for the last two days.”

(Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

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