Philippines 1-0 Singapore - Azkals victorious against Lions again
The home side recorded a second successive win over the visitors after their first victory in forty years against the Lions back in September thanks to some inspired goalkeeping.
|By Khalis Rifhan
The Philippines achieved yet another milestone in their footballing history, as they recorded their first-ever back-to-back win against a South-east Asian opponent on Thursday night in Cebu.
Substitute Marwin Angeles scored the only goal of the game ten minutes into the second half to seal victory against Singapore, who were unable to find a way past the on-form Azkals goalkeeper Ed Sacapano.
The vistors started on the offensive, wiith striker Khairul Amri breaking away from his marker before seeing his shot well-saved by Philippines Army FC custodian Sacapano.
Philippines deployed five men across the midfield, with Jason De Jong partnering Chris Greatwich as the duo supplied the ammunition upfront to Global FC striker Denis Wolf.
Lions goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at was tested several times before the break and he kept his side in the game five minutes before the break, going down well to save a low drive from Wolf.
Singapore had better chances on goal, but they were met with resistance from the excellent Sacapano.
Palming away a thunderous shot from Qiu Li midway through the half, the goalkeeper's finest moment then came in the second minute of injury time.
Singapore was awarded a penalty as Jeffrey Christiaens was adjudged to have brought down Khairul Amri in the box, a decision which was met with boos as the Azkals fans made known their feelings.
The jeers soon turned into boisterous cheers though as Sacapano brilliantly dived to his bottom right corner to deny Shi Jiayi from the spot.
In the second half, Singapore brought on Tampines Rovers striker Aleksandar Duric in place of Khairul Amri, while James and Phil Younghusband joined Marwin on the pitch for the hosts as both teams added firepower to their attack.
The change yielded instant dividends for coach Hans Michael Weiss as they took the lead through Marwin Angeles on a counter-attack, after the striker was fed by Phil Younghusband.
Sacapano once again came to his team's rescue as he pulled off a stupendous one-handed save in the 73rd minute from Shahdan Sulaiman's 25-yard freekick.
Philippines could have added a few more goals if not for the brilliance of Hyrulnizam in goal, as he denied Wolf, Phil and Marwin in the last ten minutes.
But it ultimately mattered little, as the Azkals secured a second successive win against Singapore in the space of two months.
Singapore will next play Pakistan at the Jurong West Stadium on Monday, November 19.
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