Sunday, November 25, 2012

Azkals drop Suzuki Cup opener 1-2 vs. Thailand


Source : AKTV

Host Thailand gave the Philippine national men’s football team a rude welcome to open the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup, outclassing the Azkals, 2-1, in their match Saturday at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand.

The War Elephants drew first blood, literally, in the match after Azkals ace striker Phil Younghusband suffered a cut over his left eye in the early minutes. The Philippines’ top scorer was hardly a factor in the first half before being subbed out at the break.

With the Azkals rendered toothless, the Thais dominated the action before intermission, leaving the Philippines with no opportunities while peppering shots at goal. The dam finally broke for Thailand at the 38th minute with Jakkraphan Pornsai scoring the first goal of the match.

The downpour continued just two minutes later, with Anucha Kitpongsri taking advantage of poor marking by the Azkals to make the score 2-nil. The War Elephants continued on the attack over the next few minutes as the Azkals were visibly in disarray, but could not capitalize before the halftime whistle sounded.

Thailand continued to dominate after the break, squandering several clear opportunities to score. The injuries continued for the Azkals too, as defender Juani Guirado suffered a bloodied mouth after an elbow from Thai superstar Teerasil Dangda, who was issued a yellow card on the play.

But things turned around for the Azkals late, after Patrick Reichelt broke through before issuing a sweet cross for an easy goal by Paul Mulders at the 76th minute.

In a bizarre play four minutes later, Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss was sent off after throwing the football at a fallen Thai player.

The Philippine side bucked the loss of its coach, showing renewed energy. But the Azkals could not get the equalizing goal, allowing the host squad to escape with three points.

The Azkals have a chance to bounce back on Tuesday against Vietnam, before wrapping up the group stages against Myanmar on November 30. The top two placers in the group will advance to the crossover semifinals, which will feature two-legged home-and-away series.

In the day’s first match, Vietnam and Myanmar battled to a 1-1 draw.

No comments:

Post a Comment