MANILA (6 Dec 2014) – The ‘thrilla’ in Manila fell a little short on the night as the Philippines battled three-times ASEAN champions Thailand to a scoreless draw in the first leg, semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup that was played at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
With 180 minutes to go for a place in the next round, it was quite obvious that both teams were not about to commit too much and risk it all on the night as they look for the glaring opportunity before going forward.
With Adisak Kraisorn incising the Philippines backline with Charyl Chappuis dribbling the midfield, the Thais came close early in the game but just managed to find the side of the net.
The best chance in the game for the home team came in the 40th minute with a stinging freekick from Philip Younghusband that forced an outsretched save from Thai custodian Kawin Thamsatchanan.
Some good one touches between Younghusband, Misagh Bahadoran and Manuel Ott almost caught the Thai backline flat footed while a break on the left from the inspired former Chelsea reserves forced a lucky tackle from a recovering Thai defender.
In the 68th minute, the Philippines gained an advantage when Adisak Kraisorn was red carded for an off the ball incident against Abenaldo but the home team just could not make it count as they now wait for the return leg.
The second leg semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup will be played on 10 December at the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok.