Philippines Azkals won’t advance to AFF Cup semifinals
The Philippine Azkals were eliminated from semifinal contention in the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Mitsubishi Electric Cup on Thursday following the match between defending champion Thailand and Indonesia.
Thailand salvaged a 1-all tie against the team it beat for the title of last year’s pandemic-delayed 2020 edition to end the Azkals’ hopes of reaching the final four of the regional competition.
Both Thailand and Indonesia improved to seven points apiece, four clear of the Philippines which has one match left in Group A. The top two teams will advance to the semis.
The Azkals play host to Indonesia on Jan. 2 at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
It will be the third time in the last four editions of the AFF Cup that the Philippines won’t reach past the group stage.
Things started on the wrong foot for the Azkals when they lost 3-2 to Cambodia in Phnom Penh last Dec. 20 before bouncing back three days later with a 5-1 thrashing of Brunei at home.
But the Azkals were virtually shown the door a day after Christmas by Thailand after a 4-0 away defeat in Pathum Thani.