Thursday, December 9, 2010

Myanmar 0 Philippines 0 - Filipinos through to last four

NAM DINH: The Philippines secured a place in the semi-finals of the AFF Suzuki Cup after completing an unbeaten Group B campaign with a goalless draw against Myanmar at the Thien Truong Stadium on Wednesday.

The Filipinos had the better of the chances in the match and struck the woodwork on three occasions against Myanmar side who had little to play for.

But it mattered little at the end as they finished second in the group behind Vietnam to earn a last four clash against Indonesia.

Having lost their first two games, Myanmar had already been eliminated. But they began the match well and dominated the early exchanges.

After 10 minutes, midfielder Pai Soe jinked his way past a couple of Filipino challenges to create an opening on the edge of the box but fired straight at goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.

Eight minutes later, the Filipino defence was caught square by a cross from the right. But the angle was just too narrow for Pai Soe, who put his effort wide.

The Filipinos failed to threaten until the midway point of the half but skipper Alexander Borromeo almost broke the deadlock in the 25th minute when he was picked out by James Younghusband's corner kick but headed wide.

On 35 minutes, the Philippines launched a quick counterattack with Ray Jonsson's cross failing to Ian Araneta, who had his shot blocked. The ball fell to Phil Younghusband, who ballooned his shot.

Four minutes before the break, a flick-on from a Filipino throw-in fell to Chris Greatwich in the box but the striker put his scissor kick over the crossbar.

Phil Younghusband then rose above the Myanmar defence to meet Jonsson's cross but his header came back off the woodwork.

The first opportunity of the second half fell to Myanmar defender Khin Maung Lwin, whose 50th minute effort from the edge of the box went just wide.

The deadlock was nearly broken by the Philippines 11 minute after the interval. A low cross by Greatwich fell to Araneta whose deflected attempt struck the base of the post.

Philippines continued to offer much of the threat on the counterattack and went close again in the 65th minute when a shot by Phil Younghusband deflected invitingly to Araneta, whose low attempt slipped narrowly wide.

With eight minutes left, Greatwich made a jinking run on the right and crossed for an unmarked Nigel De Jong, who headed wide.

Goalkeeper Thiha Si Thu then made a fine stop, tipping away a shot by Phil Younghusband and from the resulting corner, a header by Phil Younghusband rocked the Myanmar crossbar.

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup 


Hard work pays off, says McMenemy 

Nam Dinh: Philippines coach Simon McMenemy beamed with pride as his team sealed a place in the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup for the first time in the country's history.

A 0-0 draw with Myanmar was enough not only to ensure the Philippines progress, but for the previously unheralded side to emerge from the group stage of the tournament with an unbeaten record.

A draw with Singapore in their opening game gave them a solid start before the shock win over Group B hosts Vietnam pushed the Filipinos to the top of the standings after the first two rounds of matches.

And while the draw with Myanmar was not enough for the Philippines to hold on to first place in the group following Vietnam's win over Singapore, the English coach was delighted with his side's against-the-odds showing.

"It's amazing, just amazing because of all of the hard work we have put in," he said.

"The (Filipino fans) expected us to win but I'm just so pleased that the boys are going back to Manila as semi-finalists."

The draw represented Myanmar's first point of the tournament after defeats against both Singapore and Vietnam but McMenemy was quick to stress how difficult a task his team faced.

"Motivation (for this game) was never a problem but if you come to an empty stadium and play against a team everyone tells you that you can beat, then motivation is tough," he said

"They're much better than what their results tell you. They are very organised going forward. They kind of pinned us back. If Myanmar had the same fortune as us, they could have gott a result. They're difficult to defend.

"They did well in first half, they made it difficult for us. We defended with everything we have."

McMenemy refused to single out any player in particular as his side kept their unlikely challenge for the title alive.

"No player stood out, we put up a team performance from goalkeeper to forward," he said. "Their spirit was just excellent."

Myanmar coach Tin Myint Aung was at least able to garner some positives from his team's performance at the end of a tournament that yielded little for his unfortunate side.

"We already knew about their technique and we tried our best," he said. "We tried to win for our country. We played very well and we had some very good chances."

Source - AFF Suzuki Cup

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...