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AFF Championship

Singapore fight off Philippines to take giant step toward AFF Suzuki Cup semi-finals

18:24 GMT+3 08/12/2021
Singapore Philippines Suzuki Cup
The hosts made it two wins from as many games to edge ever-closer to a spot in the knockout stages

Singapore have made it back-to-back wins to open the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup as they survived a late Philippines onslaught in a 2-1 victory at the National Stadium.

After a largely uneventful opening hour things took a dazzling turn as Singapore scored twice in two minutes through Hariss Harun and Faris Ramli before the Azkals pegged one back in the 69th minute via the head of Amin Nazari.

The Azkals had several late chances to grab a point, with Singapore coach Tatsuma Yoshida claiming that both the result and the performance was a deserved one.

“I want to say thank you to the Singapore fans for coming tonight, the three points of course they make me happy and the performance was also good," said the Japanese coach.

"The team work, positioning and fighting spirit, the Singapore spirit, they really showed that in the second half. This win could be a real turning point for us.”

Whilst not the result they were looking for it was still a performance that pleased new Philippines coach Stewart Hall outside of what he termed a ‘crazy’ couple of minutes.

“I didn’t think we’d lose but we got beaten in three minutes and we’ve thrown away 87 minutes of hard work," said Hall.

“It’s hard for me to be critical after a performance like that and the players know we lost the game in just three minutes. We know now we have to win maybe three games to go through so we know what’s stacked against us but as long as the attitude is positive like today then we have a chance.”