Philippines misses Suzuki Cup finalsBy Celest R. Flores
MANILA, Philippines—Philippines fell to Singapore, 0-1, Wednesday night and missed a golden chance to advance to the finals of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup at the Jalan Besar Stadium in Singapore.
The Azkals yielded a goal in the 19th minute when Khairul Amri was rewarded on a long range effort as the fierce Lions went on attack mode from the kick-off.
Singapore registered only its first victory over the Philippines this year—but it came at the best time as the Lions clinched a spot in the final, winning 1-0 on aggregate in the home-and-away semifinals.
Philippines and Singapore settled for a scoreless standoff in the first leg in Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on Saturday.
The Lions pounced on the Azkals’ lousy defending in the first half, and even almost doubled the lead 12 minutes after that.
Singapore goal keeper Izwan Mahbud also had a remarkable performance keeping a clean sheet for the Lions.
The Azkals did not have enough chances in the second half to score a goal, which—even with a 1-1 scoreline—would have carried them to the finals due to the away goal rule.
Phil Younghusband—playing with a target on his back all match—had a good chance in the 42nd minute but could not finish.
Philippines also yielded to Indonesia in the semis of the same tournament two years ago.