Tag Archives: Azkals

Philippines, Malaysia Battle to a Fifth Straight Stalemate

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The Philippines were again left frustrated after a scoreless draw against Malaysia last night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. The last time the Philippines won versus the Malaysians was 26 years ago during the 1991 SEA Games.

The draw was their fifth consecutive stalemate dating back to 2012 and their fourth straight 0-0 scoreline. The draw again raised questions about the Azkals’ ability to score.

“We made chances and had possession most of the time. That’s what we expected,” said head coach Thomas Dooley after the match. “We need to score goals to win games so our focus on the next couple of days will be on finishing, finishing, finishing.”

The Philippines could have had the brightest of starts in the opening minute. Amani Aguinaldo teed the ball up for Phil Younghusband in the box. The Azkals skipper looked to have been brought down by a Malaysian defender but the referee waved play on.

Younghusband had a goal disallowed in the eighth minute. The forward was at the end of a Javier Patino feed but the linesman’s flag was up for offside. The captain had another chance in the 20th minute, but his shot was denied by Khairulazhan Khalid.

Concerns mounted at the half hour mark when Misagh Bahadoran went down with a leg injury. Mike Ott came in to replace the winger, but both teams were unable to break the deadlock and finished the first half at 0-0.

The second half saw both teams try to break each other’s defense but to no avail. Substitute Hikaru Minegishi came close for the Philippines in the 72nd minute when the winger was released by Fitch Arboleda but the shot from a tight angle went straight to the goal keeper.

The same can be said for Malaysia. Veenod Subramaniam almost won it for the visitors in the 89th minute. The Malaysian substitute was through on goal and had only Neil Etheridge to beat, but the effort went wide.

Arboleda had the final chance of the game late in added time. The forward unleashed a strike from just the edge of the area but the ball whiskered wide right before the final whistle.

Following the draw, the Philippines now shift their focus to the start of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers which begins with the match against Nepal on Tuesday, March 28 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Tickets are already available at SM Tickets. — CAL

Philippines Marks Return with Friendly vs Malaysia

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The Philippine Men’s National Team make their much awaited return to the pitch with a FIFA International Friendly Match against Malaysia tonight at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The match will be the first time the entire team will be together following the AFF Suzuki Cup campaign where the Philippines failed to advance to the next round.

Speaking ahead of the friendly, Azkals coach Thomas Dooley said that he hoped his side gets the better of Malaysia ahead of their AFC Asian Cup qualifier match against Nepal next week. The past four meetings between the two sides ended in draws.

“It’s a long time ago and we feel this is the right time,” said Dooley, who made his debut as Azkals coach against the same opponent. “It’s way too long so we have to prepare for the game. We only play eight games a year and obviously we like to win every game.”

Dooley has a full squad at his disposal. Neil Etheridge, Daisuke Sato, Mike Ott, and Javier Patino, are all available for the friendly. Save from Ott, the three were unavailable during the Suzuki Cup because the tournament did not fall during FIFA International dates. AFC Cup teams Ceres Negros FC and Global FC have a combined total of 15 players in the squad while Loyola Meralco Sparks FC have two players. Stallion Laguna FC and Kaya Makati FC have one player each in the lineup.

“It does come to mind that we haven’t won against Malaysia,” said skipper Phil Younghusband. “If we want to go further, we have to beat the teams that we have yet to beat in the past.”

The match kicks off at 7:30 PM and will be shown live at http://pff.org.ph/pff-tv. — CAL

Philippines-Malaysia Friendly Set for March 22

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After four months of inactivity following their painful AFF Suzuki Cup exit, the Philippine Men’s National Team mark their return to the pitch with a friendly against South East Asian rivals Malaysia on March 22 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The friendly will be the Azkals’ first foray into action before they begin their AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers against Nepal on March 28, also at the same venue.

The Philippine Football Federation announced the friendly last February 25, and have recently released the ticket details for the match. Tickets are priced at P500, P300, and P100.

In the latest FIFA rankings unveiled yesterday, the Philippines went down two places to 124, but are still the number one ranked side in the region. Malaysia, on the other hand, are at 161st place.

Malaysia, like the Philippines, endured a forgettable Suzuki Cup campaign, finishing in third place in Group B behind Vietnam and Myanmar. Since 2012, matches between the Philippines and Malaysia have ended in draws. Their last meeting was played at the Cebu City Sports Center in 2014.

The Azkals squad for the friendly and the qualifiers have not been announced yet. However, team manager Dan Palami hinted last month that management is working to secure at least a few overseas based players as squad reinforcements in the lineup.

“We have gotten in touch with some players and hopefully they respond so we can work on their papers,” said Palami. “Their names are all over social media.”

Tickets for the friendly are available at SM Tickets. — CAL

A Painful Lesson: Philippines Eliminated from the Suzuki Cup

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It was not the result that everyone wanted but the Azkals’ elimination may have served as a way to bring everyone back to the ground.

The Philippine Sports Stadium was left stunned when the full-time whistle was blown last Friday. November 25, 2016 will be etched into the minds of Philippine football fans as the day the Philippine Men’s National football team bowed out of the AFF Suzuki Cup group stage for the first time in six years. Perhaps it will be more painful to remember because the Philippines hosted the group stage this year.

At full-time, Thailand coach Kiatisuk Senamuang had just one word for the fans in the stadium:

“Sorry.”

And he truly was apologetic. Thailand had arguably given the Philippines the chance to advance by fielding their second stringers for the match. However, the Azkals failed to convert all their chances and in the 81st minute, Sarawut Masuk broke the hearts of Filipino fans with a winner.

Coach Thomas Dooley was left to rue about the forgettable campaign. If the Philippines had won at least one game instead of drawing 2, they would have advanced to the semifinals.

“We would have liked to go to the next round,” said Dooley. “It’s disappointing but we have to move on.”

Indonesia, who defeated Singapore with a 2-1 come from behind win in Rizal Memorial Stadium, claimed the second semifinal slot at the Azkals’ expense.

Now where does the Philippine team go from here? There are now several questions up in the air.

For a team that had so much promise, the Suzuki Cup exit proved to be a massive disappointment especially as the country was hosting the tournament for the first time. From what could have been a tournament to remember, the campaign became a tournament of what ifs.

What if Neil Etheridge, Daisuke Sato, and Javier Patino were all available during the Suzuki Cup, would it have been a better showing for the Azkals?

Perhaps. But knowing that the Suzuki Cup always falls outside the FIFA international match window, team management could have put more time and effort to secure these players for the tournament. Or, they could have adjusted earlier knowing full well that there really was a huge possibility that the overseas-based players would not be released by their clubs.

Another factor to consider was losing Simone Rota and Patrick Reichelt to injuries. The two injured players, who were part of the 2014 campaign, could have helped the team during the tournament. The absence of these key players left Dooley to field players in unusual positions.

The next edition of the Suzuki Cup will be in two years time, hopefully there will be better communication between the national team and all the clubs concerned both here and abroad.

Still, the 23-man Philippine squad showed some grit during the 2-2 fight back against Indonesia and even in the loss to Thailand.

“The players played with heart and they played what they could as long as their legs kept moving,” said Dooley after the match with Thailand. “They tried to do everything but it is what it is.”

What if the Philippine Sports Stadium was packed to the rafters?

The attendance at the Philippine Sports Stadium were extremely disappointing. With a seating capacity of 25,000, the highest attended match in the Suzuki Cup at the stadium was only 4,300. In contrast, co-hosts Myanmar enjoyed full support in the group stage with attendances averaging almost 30,000 people across all their three match dates.

Both coach Thomas Dooley and the players have asked fans to go out to the Stadium way before the tournament started. But those words seemingly fell on deaf ears and fans were probably not too keen about trekking to the Stadium which is located beyond the outskirts of Manila.

Truth be told, going to the Philippine Sports Stadium is no easy task especially because of the lack of public transport. The Philippine Football Federation made the effort to provide shuttles for the fans, but it was not enough to bring enough warm bodies to the stadium.

One positive takeaway from the fans attendance was the undying support showed by the Ultras Filipinas. The group shouted their hearts out in support of the team, their voices reverberating throughout the stadium and creating an intimidating atmosphere despite the dismal attendance numbers.

What if “that” substitution never happened?

With less than 15 minutes left to salvage a win, Dooley made a sub that arguably decided the Azkals’ campaign. Kevin Ingreso came on for the 17-year-old Marco Casambre, perhaps hoping of shoring up the defense late in the match. That plan ultimately backfired as Thailand scored on the break with nine minutes left from time.

Dooley thought the tactic would work, opting for speed instead of stability in defense. “We needed more speed in defense, that’s why I put (Kevin) in. That was the plan,” the head coach explained after the match.

However, that substitution might not have decided the match had the Philippines converted any of their chances. The Azkals had 12 shots with seven on target. Had any of those seven shots gone in, it could have been a different story altogether.

“We created couple of chances, we had good chances,” added Dooley. “We could have won it in the first half but it is what it is, they have very good players.”

What is next for the Azkals?

After every campaign, the question usually asked is, what’s next? It will be a good four months before the Philippines returns to action on the international stage. The AFC Asian Cup 2019 Qualifiers begin on March 2017.

The next four months will be crucial for Dooley as the Philippines will be matched up against stiff opposition in the qualifiers.

“(We need to) do the right thing to prepare for the Asian Cup and we need to plan for it, like a four-week camp and constant training sessions.” Dooley said when asked about Asian Cup Qualifiers preparations. “It’s something we have to be careful to prepare.”

Captain Phil Younghusband also shared his thoughts moving forward:

“The progression of football has been there and not qualifying to the semifinals is a disappointment, but we still have high expectations because we have good players and we know their quality (moving forward),” Azkals skipper said. “We’ve got (enough) time to look at the games and where we need to learn and improve. The (AFC Asian Cup) Qualifiers will be more difficult because we will be playing countries from all over Asia.”

This Suzuki Cup was the last edition where there will be a host nation. From 2018, the Suzuki Cup will still follow the group stage format, but it will be played home-and-away. The change in format means that while the Philippines will still have the chance to play the group stage matches on home soil, it will not be known how many matches will be hosted in the Philippines until the seeding in the draw.

At the end of the day, the Suzuki Cup elimination may just be the lesson the team and Philippine football fans needed to remember exactly how far they still need to go. For the past six years, Philippine football has dared to chase its dreams. Now, it is time to face reality. — CAL

Semifinals or Bust: Philippines Meets Thailand for Suzuki Cup Semifinal Bid

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The Philippine Men’s National Football team are set to play against Thailand’s War Elephants tonight in their final group game of the Suzuki Cup, 8:00 PM at the Philippine Sports Stadium. The match that could ultimately decide the Azkals Suzuki Cup destiny.

A far cry from their previous Suzuki Cup experience, the Azkals have made this journey far less comfortable, drawing both Singapore and Indonesia in their first two games to end up in second place with two points. Now, they face an all-conquering Thailand side and nothing but a win will put them safely through to the next round.

“This game could be last game but it is also the most important game. There will be a little bit more pressure on the field,” said Coach Thomas Dooley. “Our main focus is on getting the three points.”

Thailand had been an absolute bane for the Philippines since the inception of the Suzuki Cup. Their last meeting came in the Suzuki Cup semifinals where Thailand won the match, 3-0. This time, the War Elephants are less pressured heading to the match having already qualified to the next round.

“Never won against a team and have chance to go the semifinals if you win, sometimes in football, anything can happen,” added Dooley. “We have to prepare 100% and hope Thailand don’t and make a few more mistakes because they already have first place and have nothing to play for.”

The players are also keen to lift the team especially as their backs are against the wall.

“Everybody is ready to play, mentally very strong and positive and this is something we need. I told them from beginning we need to see every game as development of our fitness levels,” continued Dooley. “If we go next round we have another two games and we get fitter by the game. I think that’s positive for us.”

Already assured of a spot to the next round, Thai coach Senamuang may look for his second stringers for the match, but the Thai maestro will not make it easy against the Azkals. Forward Teerasil Dangda has been impressive for the champions, having scored a hat-trick against Indonesia. Midfielder Chanathip Songkrasin has also been on point with his passing.

“For Thailand team, although go to next round already, but tomorrow game is important too,” said Senamuang. “We will give standard for our team.”

Aside from the match in the Philippine Sports Stadium, Singapore and Indonesia also square off at the Rizal Memorial Stadium at the same time. A win for either Singapore or Indonesia, along with a Thailand victory will see the Philippines exit the competition in the group stage for the first time in six years. A draw between the teams in Rizal and a draw for the Philippines and Thailand will be enough for the Azkals to advance.

Both matches kick off at 8 PM, the Azkals match will be shown live on Aksyon TV, Fox Sports, and Fox Sports HD. — CAL

Phil Younghusband Finally Ends His Drought

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Philippine captain Phil Younghusband have scored a lot of goals throughout the years. The midfielder, who played as a forward, had been a constant thorn in oppositions sides with already 42 goals to his name for the Philippines.

However a change in position last year left him in the midfield as the scoring mantle was passed on to Misagh Bahadoran and Javier Patino, and more recently, to Stephan Schrock and Mike Ott. It left Younghusband, who was also named captain last year, unable to add to his tally. Until last night.

With ten minutes remaining in a match where the Philippines were a goal behind against Indonesia, it was Younghusband who was tasked to take the free kick from at least 25 yards out.

“I made sure the keeper was tested that was the most important thing,” said Younghusband.

The Azkals captain kept his composure and struck and magnificent free kick to score his 43rd international goal. The 2,000+ strong crowd at the Philippine Sports Stadium went berserk as the Philippines equalized.

To make it even sweeter, it was Younghusband’s 43rd goal and his first goal in two years. Surprisingly, the midfielder last scored for the Philippines also against Indonesia in the AFF Suzuki Cup two years ago.

“I felt good at the time because it gave us a chance to win the game with ten minutes to go,” added the captain.

However, the winning goal did not materialize as the Philippines settled for a 2-2 draw. Currently the Philippines have two points in Group A with Singapore and Indonesia both a point behind.

It will be an uphill task for the Azkals as Thailand await them on Friday.

“We try to be optimistic. We still have a chance to qualify. That’s the important thing,” Younghusband said. — CAL

Younghusband Keeps Suzuki Cup Semis Bid Alive in Draw vs Indonesia

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Phil Younghusband kept the Philippines in contention for a spot in the semifinals after a nerve-wracking 2-2 draw against Indonesia last night at the Philippine Sports Stadium.
The Azkals captain could not have picked a more perfect way to end his 2-year goal drought. It was a well taken free kick in the 82nd minute to keep the race for the second semifinal spot alive heading in to the final match day on Friday.
“It was an exciting game,” said coach Thomas Dooley after the match. “Overall I think 2-2 scoreline is okay even if (Indonesia) had plenty of chances to win.”
Thomas Dooley made two changes in an otherwise unchanged squad. Martin Steuble started over Kenshiro Daniels at right back while Hikaru Minegishi made his first international start over Iain Ramsay.
Indonesia, who had improved from their last meeting in 2014, took a shock lead in the seventh minute. Fachruddin Aryanto sent a free header past Muller after the Azkals defense broke following Stefano Lilipally’s free kick.
The early goal set the tone of the match as Indonesia looked the more threatening side with their pace. However, the Philippine struck gold in the 31st minute, also from the set piece. Misagh Bahadoran slotted the ball in from close range at the end of Stephan Schrock’s free kick. The first half ended at 1-1.
The start of the second half saw the Philippines almost score the go ahead goal. Schrock released Bahadoran but the shot was straight to the side netting.
Indonesia then started to look threatening. Andik Vermansyah came close for the visitors in the 61st minute but his effort was denied by the post. The Merah Puti’s efforts paid off in the 68th minute when Boas Solozza struck to put Indonesia ahead for a second time.
With elimination from the tournament looming, the Azkals willed themselves to another comeback. Younghusband was brought down in the 81st minute and it set the tone for the captain’s return to his goalscoring ways.

From at least 25 yards out, Younghusband struck the ball beautifully into the top left corne. Pandemonium broke out around the stadium in the 82nd minute. It was the captain’s first goal in two years. Younghusband’s last goal was also in the Suzuki Cup against the same opposition.

In the opening match, Thailand qualified into the next around after defeating Singapore 1-0. Sarawut Masuk headed in a winner to break Singapore’s hearts after the Lions had been defending well for the whole of the match.

Thailand leads Group A with six points while the Philippines are in second with two points Singapore and Indonesia are just behind with a point apiece. Friday’s match will decide who will advance into the semifinals. The Philippines face Thailand at the Philippine Sports Stadium while Singapore face Indonesia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Kick off for both matches is at 8:00 PM. — CAL

Philippines Face Indonesia to Keep Semis Bid Alive

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The stakes might not get any higher as the Philippines look to keep their AFF Suzuki Cup 2016 semifinals hopes alive tonight when they play Indonesia at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

The Azkals were left to rue their chances as they blew the opportunity to defeat Singapore. Despite getting their fair share of chances the Philippines failed to defeat a 10-man Singapore side last Saturday.

“Both teams have to win,” said Philippines coach Thomas Dooley. “This is a game that you could win, lose, or even tie. We just have to play our style.”

The Merah Puti have been a thorn in the Philippines side for quite a long time. The 13-1 hammering in 2002 is probably the most lopsided against the Azkals. However, the Azkals were blazing in their last meeting two years ago also in the Suzuki Cup. The Azkals finished off the Merah Puti with a 4-0 rout.

Indonesia gave a bit of a scare to defending champions Thailand in the opening match of Group A last Saturday. Goals from Boas Solossa and Lerby Eliandry put Indonesia on level terms after they went down 2-nil in the first half, but two late strikes from Teerasil Dangda ruined what could have been a memorable comeback.

One concern that has bothered the Azkals is player fitness. However, Dooley noted that the further this team could go, the better they could be as far as fitness is concerned.

“I have told my players that the longer we stay in the tournament, the more we will improve,” added Dooley. “We have to try to play smart and get our fitness levels up.”

The match kicks off at 8:00 PM at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan. It will be shown live on Aksyon TV, Fox Sports, and Fox Sports HD. – CAL

Philippines Denied Opening Day Win by 10-man Singapore

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It was not the dream start the Philippine Men’s National Team wanted in their opening match in the AFF Suzuki Cup: four-time defending winners Singapore frustrated the Azkals with a 0-0 scoreline last night at the Philippine Sports Stadium.

Singapore’s experienced defense proved to be the deciding factor in the result. The Philippines rued their chances on goal in a game which they felt they should have won.

“It’s a bit disappointing playing against 10-man for most of the time and we couldn’t score a goal. But they parked the bus in front of the goal, it’s part of the game, I don’t like it, but we had 2-3 chances to score,” said an obviously disappointed Thomas Dooley after the match. “Obviously you want to win the game, and you need to score goals. I love football, I’ve played 40 years of football, but that’s not the kind of game I like to play.”

The result puts the Philippines in a precarious position. With just a solitary point, the Azkals head to a tricky tie against Indonesia on Tuesday, November 22.

Schrock had a solid chance for the Philippines in the 15th minute. The midfielder latched on to a free kick but Singapore keeper Hassan Sunny tipped it over.

The match opened up in the 34th minute when Abu Hafiz Sujad was given a straight red card. The Singaporean defender sent an extremely high boot toward Phil Younghusband’s head. The first half ended with the teams locked at 0-0.

Dooley decided to make a change in halftime. Hikaru Minegishi earned his first international cap by replacing Iain Ramsay.

The introduction of Minegishi allowed the Philippines to move past the defense in the 47th minute. Mike Ott played a weighted ball to the path of the winger but Sunny denied the chance.

Minegishi’s influence in the game loomed larger in the final minutes. With the goal at his mercy, the midfielder sent his effort wide in the 81st minute. Another chance came for Minegishi a minute later, but he curled it wide to finish the match at 0-0.

In the first match, Teerasil Dangda broke the hearts of the Indonesians with a hat-trick in Thailand’s opening day 4-2 win over Indonesia. The Indonesians clawed their way back from a 0-2 half-time deficit to equalize midway in the second half. However, Teerasil was simply in a different class, scoring twice in the second half to take the win. Up next for the Thais are Singapore in Tuesday’s first game at 4:30 PM. — CAL

Throwback: Ten Suzuki Cup Moments for the Azkals

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With the AFF Suzuki Cup set to kick off in a couple of days, Football.com.ph has come up with a bit of a throwback to look at several dates that the Azkals played in the tournament thus far.

The Philippines have participated in every installment of the Suzuki Cup except in 2008 when they failed to advance past the qualifying round. In all, the Philippines has played 36 games (including semifinals) winning six games, drawing five, and losing 25.

We have selected a number of matches from the past to remind us how far the Philippines has gone, and how far we have yet to go.

September 2, 1996 – The first ever Suzuki Cup match: Philippines 0-5 Thailand
It was a painful start for the Azkals in the Suzuki Cup as they yielded to Thailand, 5-0 at the Jurong Stadium in Singapore. Current Thailand head coach Kiatisuk Senamuang scored in that game in the 14th minute.

August 29, 1998 – Freddy Gonzales scores the first ever Suzuki Cup goal: Thailand 3-1 Philippines
Former Loyola Meralco Sparks striker Freddy Gonzales opened the Philippines’ account in the tournament with a 30th minute strike. However, Thailand scored thrice to claim the win at the Thong Nhat Stadium in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

December 23, 2002 – Indonesia 13-1 Philippines
Going into the last match of the group stage, Indonesia needed to win big to advance to the semifinal round. The Philippines were the opposition that evening at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium and it only took the Garudas 16 minutes to score three goals as the match ended in a 13-1 rout. Former Ceres-La Salle head coach and now technical director Ali Go scored the consolation in the 78th minute.

December 14, 2004 – Caligdong Leaves it Late To Claim Maiden Suzuki Cup Win: Philippines 2-1 Timor Leste
Emelio “Chieffy” Caligdong could not have asked for a better debut. The current Azkals assistant coach came off the bench to score twice in the dying minutes of the match to claim a 2-1 win over Timor Leste at the Bukit Jalil Stadium in Malaysia. It was the Azkals’ first ever win in the competition. Caligdong’s goals were timed in the 91st and 93rd minutes.

November 14, 2006 – Phil Younghusband has Arrived: Philippines 7-0 Timor Leste
Facing the same opposition they defeated two years prior, the Younghusband-powered Philippines ran riot and scored seven goals past Timor Leste in the AFF qualifiers held at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City. Current Azkals topscorer Phil Younghusband opened his account with a four goal romp as he went on to become the top scorer of the qualifiers. Chris Greatwich, Ariel Zerrudo, and Caligdong also found the back of the net.

October 23, 2008 – Azkals Miss Out on Suzuki Cup: Cambodia 2-3 Philippines
The Philippines missed out on the big dance for the very first time despite winning their final game against Cambodia, 2-3. Aly Borromeo, Greatwich, and Chad Gould netted for the Azkals in front of 15,000 Cambodian fans. However, Cambodia won their final match against Brunei to advance to the final rounds scoring nine goals to the Philippines’ six.

October 24, 2010 – Younghusbands Send Azkals to Hanoi: Philippines 2-2 Laos
Losing to Laos by two goals with less than 15 minutes left, the Azkals pulled off a Harry Houdini to clinch a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw. Phil Younghusband scored a penalty in the 76th minute that was followed up by a James Younghusband equalizer in the 94th minute. A draw against Cambodia two days later confirmed their participation in the final rounds in Hanoi

December 5, 2010 – Hanoi Miracle: Philippines 2-0 Vietnam
They were expected to lose. They were expected to be humiliated in front of 40,000 Vietnamese fans at the My Dinh Stadium. But on that warm day in Hanoi, everything went the other way. The Philippines defeated Vietnam 2-0 to turn a few heads. Vietnam were reigning champions and the loss to the Philippines cracked their invulnerability. Greatwich broke the deadlock in the 38th minute and Phil Younghusband, who was sick that day, clinched the upset in the 79th minute.

November 27, 2012 – Hail to the Ch13f: Vietnam 0-1 Philippines
Vietnam and the Philippines squared off once again two years after that fateful December night. This time the venue was the Rajamangala Stadium in Bangkok. Both teams were deadlocked at 0-0 with four minutes left when Angel Guirado launched a long ball to find Caligdong free in the box. The substitute nailed Vietnam’s coffin shut with a sublime strike past the goalkeeper to win it for the Philippines.

November 25, 2014 – Indonesia Vanquished: Philippines 4-0 Indonesia
The memory of the 13-1 game in 2002 may still have been on everyone’s mind heading into this match. Phil Younghusband scored a 16th minute penalty to put the Philippines ahead at the half. Tense moments followed in the second half as Indonesia applied pressure, but Manny Ott doubled the advantage with a terrific strike in the 52nd minute. Martin Steuble sneaked in a cleverly-timed indirect free kick to make it 3-0 before Rob Gier surprised everyone with a goal 11 minutes from time. The win was the Azkals’ first over the Indonesians in 80 years and allowed them to advance to the semifinals for the third straight time.

Ten games, ten results that made massive impacts on the Azkals in the Suzuki Cup. Will there be more good results and stories to tell this year? One thing’s for sure, this tournament is definitely going to be exciting.