Many expected Philippines vs Singapore to be Round One’s headline match. However, the match was ultimately a disappointment, with the Azkals edging their Southeast Asian opponents by a solitary goal. There were some players who lived up to the occasion while some just vanished in thin air. And as Sven-Goran Eriksson earned his first win as the Philippines head coach, we take a look at how the two sides fared.
N. Etheridge (6): The most high-profile player of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, Neil Etheridge flew in from Cardiff to take part in the competition. He had an easy outing in his first match and was never really troubled.
B. Woodland (5): Perhaps unfair to judge Woodland who played just half an hour before being substituted due to an injury.
C. de Murga (6): Untroubled for almost the entire match and kept the Singapore forwards in check throughout.
P. Mulders (6): Was as solid as his defensive partner and rarely put a foot wrong. However, at the end of the day, Singapore rarely attacked and all their best chances came via set-pieces.
M. Steuble (7): Did look to threaten the Singapore backline on occasions, when he made the run from his own half. Put in a delicious cross for Strauss which he should’ve converted as well.
M. Ott (6): Lacklustre from the Philippines wideman who was replaced for the second half by James Younghusband.
P. Strauss (6): Didn’t really show his authority in the midfield in what was a closely contested tie. Should’ve put Philippines 2-0 up during the late stages but flashed his shot wide with the goal gaping.
Manuel Ott (6): Today’s game was largely played in the midfield with very few clear-cut chances. As a result, neither side could really put their foot down and control the midfield. Ott didn’t help much either, despite looking promising on occasions.
S. Schrock (7): Another high-profile player amongst the Filipinos, Stephan Schrock put in a good shift. However, he was not at the top of his game and lacked the finishing touch.
P. Reichelt (8): Worked tirelessly to press the Singapore centre-backs and did trouble them on many occasions. Was finally rewarded for all his hard work in the 78th minute when he worked his way into the opposition box and put the ball in the net.
P. Younghusband (7): Philippines’ Mr Dependable did look a bit rusty at times. He did, however, provide Reichelt with the assist for his goal.
D. Sato (6): Entered the fray early due to an injury to Woodland. Kept things nice and tight at the back.
J. Younghusband (6): James was sent on by coach Sven-Goran Eriksson for the second half. He did look lively at times and even stung the Singaporean goalkeeper’s palms with a venomous shot during the later stages.
C. Dizon (N/A): Entered the pitch in stoppage time.
H. Sunny (6): Hassan Sunny would feel a bit unlucky to be on the wrong side of the scoreline. he did make some stunning stops but could do nothing to prevent Reichelt’s goal.
Z. Suliman (6): Whilst the Singapore defence held firm for most of the match, they were beaten ultimately by a narrow margin. For most of it, Suliman played his part well but couldn’t prevent the goal.
I. Fandi (6): Fandi looked solid in defence. That is up until the point he was replaced by Khairul Amri late into the game.
S. Baharudin (7): The only shining light in the Singaporean team was Safuwan Baharudin, who surprisingly was their best player in both defence and attack. However, he should’ve done better with an early chance from a set-piece but failed to connect with the ball with the goal at his mercy.
S. Hamzah (6): Like his defensive partners, looked good throughout the match but would still end up on the losing side.
Y. Hanapi (5): Was required to provide width to the Singapore team. But was kept in check throughout the game by the opposite numbers.
I. Shafiq (6): Was part of a scruffy midfield battle as the two sides tried to stamp their authority. At the end of the day, neither was the winner and the game was decided by a solitary goal.
H. Harun (5): Match winner the last time, Harun went missing for much of the match.
G. Quak Jun Yi (5): This was the kind of match in which several players can go missing. Jun Yi, unfortunately, was amongst those who did.
F. Ramli (5): Starting just behind Fandi, Ramli was expected to supply the creativity while also act as a second striker. Did neither well and wound up on the losing side. He was replaced by Ishak following an injury.
I. Fandi (5): Fandi was expected to lead the line from the front and trouble the Filipino defence. However, the 19-year-old looked out of his depth and didn’t trouble the opposition at all.
S. Ishak (N/A): Ishak entered the fray to replace an injured Ramli but was himself hurt within two minutes and replaced.
J. Mahler (5): The youngster came on to replace Ishak after the substitute had injured himself. Couldn’t the stop Philippines from getting the match-winning goal, however.
K. Amri (N/A): Entered the pitch with four minutes left in the game and didn’t do anything notable.
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