Dooley rues Azkals’ lack of finishing in draw vs Singapore
BOCAUE – Philippine coach Thomas Dooley rued the missed chances in the Azkals’ scoreless draw against Singapore Saturday night to start the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup at Philippine Sports Stadium here.
“Obviously, it’s a little bit disappointing,” he said, as the Azkals failed to take advantage of the undermanned Lions, who played with only 10 men for the majority of the second half.
Singapore lost defender Hafiz Abu Sujad at the 35th minute after he was given a red card for his dangerous challenge against Phil Younghusband. Even with one man out, the Lions were still able to frustrate the Azkals as the two sides settle for a point each.
Dooley was also dismayed with how Singapore tried to milk the clock in the tournament opener, saying, “It’s obvious that they tried to park the bus, but it’s part of the game and I don’t like it.”
Goalkeeper Hassan Sunny, as well as midfielders Anumanthan Kumar and Safuwan Baharudin were all booked with yellow cards for time-wasting through the course of the second half.
Also earning the ire of a displeasured crowd was forward Khairul Amri, who took his time to sub out of the game for midfielder Yasir Hanapi, as the Singaporeans continued to stretch the game even in injury time with the Azkals desperately trying to get those last chances.
“You can see that they tried to waste the time to try to get a draw. I know it’s part of the game, but I think there should be a little more (warnings from the officials). If those things happen, maybe not much fans will watch the games anymore,” Dooley said.
The American mentor also acknowledged that the Azkals were also at fault in the disappointing turnout, muffing all of their 14 goal attempts, with seven of those being shots on target.
“We want to score goals and have great chances. We didn’t create a lot of chances but we had a couple. We had great opportunities to score but we didn’t finish. Obviously, if you want to win the game, you have to score goals. That’s definitely something we have to look at,” he said.
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Dooley now looks forward to Tuesday’s match against Indonesia with a sense of urgency as the Philippines’ chances of advancing further in the tournament hangs in the balance.
“We hope we’ll be more offensive-minded in the game and we have to play better, be a little bit more concentrated in front of the goal,” he said. “We want to go to the next round and if you lose, how are you going to get there? You have to get results. We didn’t get the first match so we have to win against Indonesia.”