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Azkals force ten-man Thailand to scoreless goal

Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Gil Mar Moriones

For the second time around in the biennial goal fest, the Philippine National XI controlled the balance beam as they impressively drew the Thailand War Elephants on their third appearance in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup semifinals at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium in Manila City.

Phil Younghusband tried to kick his 43rd international net late in the first half, but Kawit Thammasatchanan got a hold of the football, an indication of Thai effort in defense.

Younghusband got another chance as he found himself open for a shot inside the box.

But Phil lost control of his running and Thailand got the ball back.

The Thais, however, got a big blow as Kraison Adisak was sent off for allegedly knocking Amani Aguinaldo down, busting the latter's lip.

But Thammasatchanan helped the back line defense collected most of the saves, preventing the Azkals from converting their booming shots on goal.

The second leg will be played at the Rajamangala Stadium in Thailand's capital city of Bangkok.

A month ago back in Thailand the hosts beat the Philippines in a friendly in Natchok Rachashima, three goals to nothing.