Shorthanded Azkals fall to Singapore in Tri-Nations Series

Published March 29, 2022, 11:22 PM

by Jonas Terrado

Photo from Azkals

The depleted Philippine Azkals ended their campaign in the Tri-Nations Series with another 2-0 defeat, this time at the hands of host Singapore on Tuesday, March 29 at the latter’s National Stadium.

An opening goal by Singapore’s Safuwan Bahadurin put the Azkals behind early before their bid to salvage a draw despite being reduced to 10 men was dashed when Shawal Anuar scored before the second half stoppage time.

It was a frustrating international window for the Azkals, who began their campaign in the three-team tourney with a loss to Malaysia last March 23 after conceding both goals in the first 24 minutes.

This time, the Azkals came to the match against the Lions with only a 15-man squad after several players tested positive for Covid-19.

Safuwan put Singapore ahead 10 minutes after the first whistle by converting a header off a corner kick.

The Azkals would later see themselves go a man down when Diego Bardanca was sent off after his second yellow card in the 39th.

Veteran goalkeeper Neil Etheridge had some solid stops to keep the Azkals chances of drawing level, but there was lack of buildup on the other end of the pitch which made things tough.

The struggles eventually cost the Philippines as Hariss Harun found Shawal, who fired a shot past Etheridge to seal Singapore’s victory.

Singapore won all two matches in the short tournament, the other by way of a 2-1 defeat of Malaysia last March 26.