PH Azkals open 2018 Suzuki Cup bid with 1-0 win over Singapore
FULL TIME | Philippines 🇵🇭 1-0 🇸🇬 Singapore!ADVERTISEMENT
— AFF Suzuki Cup (@affsuzukicup) November 13, 2018
BACOLOD CITY – Playing in his home pitch, Patrick Reichelt struck in the 78th minute as the Philippines subdued Singapore, 1-0, last Tuesday night to open its AFF Suzuki Cup on a winning note at Panaad Stadium here.
Reichelt, the standout winger of Ceres-Negros, broke through the Singapore defense after brothers Phil and James Younghusband combined on the right as the Azkals finally unlocked a tight and compact Singapore defense.
“It’s amazing, scoring at Panaad and getting the three points to start the tournament,” said Reichelt. “We had some problems at the start, but we changed the game in the second half. James (Younghusband) helped us a lot and we made everything quicker.”
The goal was a fitting reward for the pressure put in by the Azkals right from the start. The home side bossed possession, but can’t seem to find that final ball to break down the Singaporeans.
Stephan Schrock was excellent on the left and debutant Patrick Strauss also sparkled in midfield, holding his own against Singaporean star Harris Harun.
More importantly, the Azkals pick up three points in what was considered as a potential banana skin for them.
They also gifted coach Sven Goran Eriksson a victory in his debut.
“We’re happy we got the three points, but it was a difficult game,” said Eriksson. “Singapore was playing direct and they were very difficult to defend. But tactically we made some changes and we showed good fighting spirit.”
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