Golden Dragons tame the Azkals
The first leg of the Vietnam-Philippines matchup in this year’s AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal held at Panaad Stadium, Bacolod saw a visiting opposition steadily give the home team a football clinic.
The Golden Dragons continued to prove why they are the top team coming out of Group A and one of the heavy favorites to win the tournament this year.
Vietnam’s Nguyen Anh Duc broke the ice early on with a match-opening goal in the 12th minute of the game when he beat Philippines goalie Michael Falkesgaard via header.
However, just before the halftime whistle sounded, Patrick Reichelt gave local fans something to cheer about when he netted a goal to equalize the match at one apiece.
Much like the start of the match’s opening half, Vietnam was able to pounce early with a Phan Van Duc goal in the 48th minute which proved to be the deciding goal in securing a crucial away victory in the Philippines and pulling themselves ever-closer to the promise land of the tournament’s final.
The loss against a strong Vietnamese side provided a reality check for the Philippine Azkals who relied heavily on long balls and individual brilliance in their efforts to take down the visitors.
The two nations will once again do battle on December 12th inside of what should be a sold out Mỹ Đình National Stadium in front of 40,000 fans for a spot in the finale of the biennial ASEAN meet.