After suffering a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Vietnam in the first leg of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 semifinals, the Philippine Azkals now have an uphill task when they visit the My Dinh Stadium in Hanoi for the return leg.
Veteran striker Nguyen Anh Duc put the Golden Dragons ahead at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod before Patrick Reichelt pulled the home side level before half-time. But the parity was short-lived as Phan Van Duc scored three minutes into the second half to gift Vietnam the advantage of two away goals heading into the second leg.
However, Azkals captain Phil Younghusband believes that his team can still emerge as the victors from the two-legged semifinal tie.
“It means that we now need to go for things in the second game and I think that will suit us better knowing that we have to go and score rather than sitting back,” the 31-year-old told the official website of AFF Suzuki Cup 2018.
“Vietnam are a young team and I think we showed (in the first leg) that we can get at them and create chances. And if we can stop them from scoring, we’ve got a chance. So, for me I think it’s all to play for – it’s a one goal difference and we’ve seen bigger miracles in football before and I think we still have a chance.”
Reichelt’s goal for Philippines was the first Vietnam have conceded in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 and Phil feels that it would give the Azkals a mental boost heading into the second leg.
“They got so many bodies behind the ball that they were difficult to break down. And maybe if we didn’t score, we would’ve gone into the next game thinking it’s a bigger challenge. But knowing that we can score against them gives us confidence going into the second leg,” the skipper said.