Azkals U23 yield to host Singapore in Merlion Cup opener

By Gil Moriones

MANILA - The Junior Azkals opened up their Merlion Cup rally with a 3-0 loss handed over to them by host country Singapore at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Friday night.

Jarvey Gayoso had golden chances for the Filipino booters at the 10th minute but the Singaporean stopper Zharfan Rohaizad responded quickly and defended their wall.

By the 26th minute, Amiruldin Asraf was able to take advantage of the defensive error committed by Pete Forrosuelo to give Singapore a 1-0 lead as his shot found the back of the net.

The Junior Azkals were able to hold the Singaporeans to just a goal as the halftime whistle sounds.

It took Irfan Fandi three attempts to score a goal through a header and was successful on his third attempt to tally in the second goal of the night on the 62nd minute, giving the home side a comfortable 2-0 advantage against the visiting Filipinos.

The 69th minute turned out to be the dagger for the Philippines as Ikhsan Fandi scored the third goal off an assist by Daniel Goh to seal the deal for the Singaporeans.

The Merlion Cup continues on as the hosts will face Thailand next for the title while the Philippines plays against Indonesia for third place.

Follow him on Twitter: @GilMoriones