The Philippine Azkals were officially eliminated from semifinal contention after a late second half penalty resulted in a 2-1 loss to Thailand Tuesday, Dec. 14 in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 at Singapore’s National Stadium.
Amani Aguinaldo’s disputed foul on Thitipan Puangcha opened the door for Teerasil Dangda to convert his second goal from the spot in the 78th minute that eventually put an end to the Azkals’ bid for a top two finish in Group A.
It was a heartbreaking setback for the Azkals, who needed at least a draw to stay alive in the competition.
Hopes of keeping any chance came near the hour mark when Patrick Reichelt scored off a free kick to cancel out Teerasil’s first half goal that made the great Thai striker the top goalscorer in the history of the competition.
The match remained even at 1-1 when Azkals goalkeeper Kevin Mendoza made an impressive save, though it kept the ball in Thailand’s possession inside the box.
But Aguinaldo, seconds later, would later be called for a foul while defending Thithipan, who fell while moving the ball forward near the goal.
Azkals coach Stewart Hall would later describe the decision of referee Kassem Matar Al-Hatmi as “very dubious.”
Teerasil took advantage of the call and smashed the penalty for a record-extending 19th goal in the AFF championship.