Supachalasai Stadium, Bangkok, Thailand- For the first time in history, the Philippines defeated SouthEast Asian neighbors Myanmar in an official football game. The 2-0 victory also meant that the 2010 semifinal participation of the Philippine Azkals was not a fluke as they are once again in the Final 4 of Southeast Asia’s premier football tournament.
Phil Younghusband was very aggressive right at the get-go. His efforts to break a scoring slump were eventually rewarded at the start of the second half when he received a pass from Jason de Jong and evaded two defenders for his first goal in this year’s Suzuki Cup. Angel Guirado added the nail in the coffin in stoppage time as he clinically converted a long ball to bring the Philippines back to the semifinals. Goalkeeper Ed Sacapano was once again credited with a clean sheet just like the previous game against Vietnam.
With the victory, the Azkals finished the group phase with 6 points owing to its win over Vietnam and Myanmar. Their lone tormentor Thailand won the group by sweeping all its matches at their home turf.
In 2010 when the Philippines were not allowed to host their home leg of the semifinals because the country did not have a stadium that met FIFA standards. In this year’s edition however, Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila is booked on December 8 for the match between the Azkals and top qualifier from the other group. It is expected that Filipino fans will flock to the legendary venue as the Azkals go for a historic final appearance. Details on tickets for the match will be announced very soon.