Philippine Azkals (Photo from

The Philippine Azkals aim to pull off a historic win over Group A leader Thailand and keep their semifinal hopes alive Tuesday, Dec. 14 in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2020 at Singapore’s National Stadium.

Any result other than getting the full three points against one of the favorites in the 5:30 p.m. will further dim the chances of the Azkals to book a fifth semifinal appearance in the history of the competition.

Singapore, which produced a 2-1 victory over the Azkals last week, is poised to virtually cement its place in the semis when it faces Timor-Leste later in the day.

Both Thailand and Singapore are at six points through two games, with the Philippines three clear going into the all-important match.

“We need to win the points, definitely. But we also have to be mindful of the quality of Thailand,” said Azkals coach Stewart Hall.

Thailand has won six and drawn two against the Philippines in eight meetings in Southeast Asia’s biggest competition, and will come in with two victories in as many matches by a combined score of 6-0.

But the Azkals are also coming in on a high after thrashing Timor-Leste, 7-0, behind six goals in the first half.

For Azkals veteran Martin Steuble, he feels that Thailand is very wary of what they can do in the crucial affair.

“We will face a strong Thailand side and they are certainly a different caliber than Timor,” said Steuble, who plays club football in Thailand.

“Maybe Thailand fears us a little bit as we know of their quality and their commitment,” he added.

Source: Manila Bulletin (