The Philippine national men’s football team had a rocky start to its AFF Suzuki Cup campaign, settling for a scoreless draw against a 10-man Singapore squad on Saturday night at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan.
Both the Azkals and Singapore each earned one point, but the result definitely was a blow to the Filipinos’ hopes of advancing to the next round. Only the top two teams in Group A move on to the next round.
Playing before a sparse crowd, the Azkals got a huge break in the first half after Singaporean defender Hafiz Sujad was sent off at the 35th minute for hitting Phil Younghusband in the face.
That reduced Singapore to just 10 men, opening the door for the Azkals to control the game.
But the Filipinos failed to do so despite launching 14 goal attempts, seven of which were on target.
Mike Ott, Stephan Schrock, Kenshiro Daniels and Hikaru Minegishi all had decent looks at the goal, but none of them were able to convert.
The Azkals will next play on Tuesday versus Indonesia which lost to Thailand, 4-2, in the other game.