Philippine Azkals (Photo from AFF)

The Philippine Azkals suffered a 2-1 defeat to host Singapore to begin their AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 campaign Wednesday, Dec. 8 at the National Stadium.

Two goals conceded past the hour mark proved to be the difference as the Azkals couldn’t salvage a draw following Amin Nazari’s header to drop their opening match in the pandemic-delayed competition.

Singapore made it two wins in a row, boosting its chances of securing a top two finish in Group A while the Philippines will have to work doubly hard to sneak a spot in its next three matches.

Timor-Leste will be the Philippines’ next opponent on Dec. 11, followed by Group A favorite Thailand on Dec. 14 and Myanmar on Dec. 18.

Hariss Harun’s close-range header off a corner kick put Singapore ahead in the 61st while Faris Ramli doubled the lead for the Lions shortly after.

Nazari gave the Philippines a ray of hope when he struck a header off a set piece in the 69th, but Singapore was able to thwart any scoring opportunities.

Veteran striker Angel Guirado, who came on as a substitute in the second half, had two attempts to equalize but to no avail.

Source: Manila Bulletin (