In the end, the Azkals did not have enough bite.
The Philippine national football team fell to Singapore, 1-nil, to lose by the same score on aggregate and end its journey in the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup Wednesday at the Jalan Besar Stadium in the city-state.
The Azkals came into the match with high hopes after battling the Lions to a nil-nil draw in Manila last Saturday. But Singapore showed its fangs early in the match, as Khairul Amri scored off a set piece at the 19th minute after catching the Philippine defense napping, breaking the Azkals’ three-match clean sheet streak.
Singapore continued to dominate most of the first half, controlling possession as the Philippines played sloppy football, before the Azkals showed some signs of life just before the break.
Things seemed to turn around for the Azkals in the second half, controlling the possession and building up their offense better. Chieffy Caligdong and Demitrius Omphroy came on as substitutes to try to stir things up for the Azkals, but were still unable to get the equalizing goal that could have carried the squad to the semifinals.
Azkals coach Hans Michael Weiss threw caution to the wind late in the match, subbing in forward Denis Wolf for defender Carli De Murga and playing with just three men on defense in a last-ditch effort to score. But luck didn’t smile on the Azkals despite numerous chances late.
Singapore, a two-time champion of the tournament, advances to the final against the winner of the other semifinal series between Thailand and Malaysia.