The Philippines’ AFF Suzuki Cup 2018 campaign came to a heartbreaking end after yielding another 2-1 loss against Vietnam last Thursday 6 December 2018 at the My Dinh National Stadium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
It was a fourth semifinal exit for the Azkals, which have put on a decent performance, but just lacked the final push to deliver the vital goals.
Needing to take a two-goal win to clinch their place in the final, the Azkals pressed Vietnam for the better part of the match, outplaying them at times.
Iain Ramsay, who started the match, went the closest for the Philippines on the stroke of half-time but his effort from outside the box sailed over the bar.
A late charge did not materialize for the Philippines as Vietnam scored twice inside the last 10 minutes to put themselves on a spot in the final where they will face Malaysia.
The Philippines, however, can take pride as the only team to have scored against Vietnam both at home and away. James Younghusband, who earned his 100th international cap from the bench, gave the Philippines a consolation goal in the 89th minute.
Head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson remained positive of the team’s performance and is now looking ahead for the upcoming AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 which begins on January 2019 in the United Arab Emirates.
“We lost it today, but I am proud of the players,” said Eriksson after them match. “Now, we have to concentrate on what’s up next in the future. In a few weeks’ time, it’s the Asian Cup.”
Photo from AFFSuzukiCup.com