Azkals in danger of early elimination after 0-4 loss to Thais in AFF Cup
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines Azkals’ Mitsubishi Electric Cup semi-final hopes went up in smoke on Monday following a 0-4 defeat to defending champions Thailand at the Stadium Thammasat Cave in Pathum Thani.
Virtually no threat from the opening whistle, the Azkals were unable to stop legendary striker Teerasil Dangda’s brace plus two second-half goals from Adisak Kraisorn and Suphanan Bureerat in a forgettable Christmas Eve. .
It was the second loss in three games for coach Josep Ferre’s side, who have dropped to fourth in Group A with three points left to head into the final match on January 2 against last year’s runners-up. Indonesia.
Thailand increased by 6 points to equal Indonesia, the team a few hours earlier had beaten Brunei 7-0 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The two teams that met in the two-legged Finals of the 2020 edition due to last year’s pandemic delay, will meet on Thursday.
The outcome of the match will decide whether the Azkals still have a mathematical chance to qualify for the semi-finals. But with such a situation, the odds seem impossible.
It took three minutes for the Azkals to fall behind when Teerasil, who had just become the all-time leading goalscorer in Southeast Asia’s top soccer tournament, delivered a header from a direct free kick. by Theerathon Bunmathan.
The Azkals made no attempt to shoot for the first 45 minutes as they were forced to play defensively against an attacking herd of War Elephants. Goalkeeper Julian Schwarzer, for the second time in a row, worked hard to keep the score the same.
But the Azkals eventually conceded a second goal when referee Yudao Yamamoto signaled to start after a poor challenge by veteran defender Amani Aguinaldo, allowing Teerasil to score a 41-minute penalty. .
Teerasil scored Thailand’s third goal in the 57th minute when he passed it to the oncoming Adisak while Suphanan shot from close range six minutes later to extend the lead for the Azkals.
Thailand could have had more goals until the final whistle but Schwarzer, perhaps the only bright spot, managed to thwart many of the efforts.
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