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Azkals exit Suzuki Cup at the hands of dominant Vietnam

Kevin Ingreso and the Azkals bow out of the Suzuki Cup but not without giving Vietnam a late semifinal fright. AFF

By Kevin Estrada


The Philippines exit at the semifinal of the AFF Championship after Vietnam turned on the screws late in the return fixture with a nailbiting 2-1 win Thursday evening in Hanoi's My Dinh.

Park Hang-seo's Golden Dragons were left frustrated by the rock-solid backline of Sven-Goran Eriksson's Azkals until they left it late with quickfire strikes in the final ten minutes of the semifinal tie which ended 4-2 on aggregate to the 2008 titlists.

Nguyen Quang Hai and Nguyen Cong Phuong fired their goals from just outside the six-yard box as they will only have four days off when they face Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur for the first leg of the final.

On his 100th appearance for the country, James Younghusband made sure that the visitors would leave the stadium with defiance with an 88th minute effort that was just pure consolation in the end.

After their exit, all eyes will be on their debut in the AFC Asian Cup , with their build up included their third tiff with the Vietnamese on New Year's eve.

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada