Azkals bracing for Singapore attack in AFF Suzuki Cup opener

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 7) – The Philippine Azkals must brace themselves against the fine offensive form being displayed by Singapore in the AFF Suzuki Cup.

This was Azkals mentor Stewart Hall's assessment as the squad prepares for their opening match against the Lions on Wednesday, at 8:30 p.m., at the Singapore National Stadium.

Hall said Singapore did a good job in scoring two goals from set pieces and another from a counter attack in the host country's 3-0 win over Myanmar last Sunday.

He said the challenge for the Azkals is to stop the Lions' set pieces and prevent them from staging counter attacks, after the Singaporeans made nine shot attempts against their Burmese opponents.

"I would be very disappointed if we will concede in set piece goals. We have more height and aggression," said Hall during the pre-match press conference on Monday.

"We got to make sure that we can defend them in wide open spaces and you don't get caught like that," the coach added.

Hall remains confident the Azkals will put a good showing as the squad continues to work on their chemistry ahead of their opening match.

He is also banking on the availability of Filipino Swedish defender Jesper Nyholm and Filipino Australian winger Iain Ramsay, both listed in the 27-man lineup released by the Azkals, to boost the squad moving forward in their matches.

"We are not here as tourists, we want to go as far as possible in the competition," he said. "There's nothing that we should be afraid of. The players have shown good intensity and tempo during training."

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