Azkals drop tough opening game vs. Singapore in AFF Suzuki Cup

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Photo courtesy: Philippine Football Federation

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 8) – The Philippine Azkals dropped their opening assignment in the AFF Suzuki Cup group stage against Singapore, 1-2, on Wednesday at the Singapore National Stadium.

The Azkals suffered a defensive lapse in the middle of the second half to concede two goals in two minutes against the hosts.

Singapore team captain Hariss Harun opened the scoring line after converting the header from a corner in the 61st minute.

The Filipino booters were setting up the ball when the Singaporeans stole the possession, resulting in a counter attack goal from striker Faris Ramli two minutes after their first score.

The Azkals responded with a goal in the 69th minute from midfielder Amin Nazari, who scored a header from a corner kick by Kevin Ingreso.

The Stewart Hall-coached squad had a chance to salvage a draw in the last minutes of the match, but the attempts of team captain Stephan Schrock and substitute Angel Guirado went way off the box.

In the first half, Singapore executed more offensive set pieces as they slipped past the Philippine defense but failed to complete them with a strike.

The Azkals struggled to get a shot on target as their offensive sets were countered by the pesky and physical Singaporean defenders.

With the victory, Singapore leads Group A with a perfect six points after their 3-0 opening game win against Myanmar last Dec. 5.

The Philippines is tied with Timor Leste with no points, as the two squads look to score a win against each other on Saturday at 5:30 p.m.