Azkals draws S’pore in AFF Cup opener

first_img[av_one_full first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=”][av_heading heading=’Azkals draws S’pore in AFF Cup opener ‘ tag=’h3′ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ size=” subheading_active=’subheading_below’ subheading_size=’15’ padding=’10’ color=” custom_font=”]BY ADRIAN STEWART CO[/av_heading][av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=”]MANILA – Philippine Azkals settled for a scoreless draw with Singapore Lions at the start of the 2016 Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup on Saturday night at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan. Breaks were on the side of the Azkals as the Lions went down to 10 menwith a straight red card on Hafiz Abu Sujad late in the opening half, but the team failed to capitalize, ending the match without a point.“The first game is always difficult,” said Azkals head coach Thomas Dooley. “I don’t like it (scoreless draw), but it is part of the game. If we want to win the game, we have to score goals.”The Lions went aggressive early in the match with two quick attempts but it was all foiled by Azkals’ Ronald Muller. The Azkals also had their chances on free kicks but failed to deliver.The Azkals got their break late in the first half with the expulsion of Hafiz following a kick to the face of Phil Younghusband, but the home squad failed to take advantage as Stephan Schrock missed his second free kick try.The Azkals had a great opportunity to break into the scoring column early in the second half but an attempt by Hikaru Minegishi was foiled. Another close shot from Minegishi went wide over the bar.In the last 10 minutes of the match, Minegishi got another attempt for a goal but he misfired. The Filipino-Japanese tried again in the waning moments of the game but failed to deliver on a perfect pass by Mark Hartmann.The Azkals will be on a must-win situation when it faces the Indonesian team on Tuesday evening as only the top two teams from each group will advance to the next round. The national team’s third opponent is the powerhouse Thailand War Elephants on Friday.In the other match, the White Elephants banked on the hat-trick of Teerasil Dangda to score a 4-2 victory over Indonesia. The Thai team is currently on top of the standings with three points while the Azkals and the Lions are tied at second with one point each./PN[/av_textblock][/av_one_full]last_img

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