IT’S shades of 2005 again for the Philippine men’s football team as it needs to beat Malaysia to keep its hopes of advancing to the semifinal round of the Southeast Asian Games.
The Philippines, which lost to Myanmar, 2-1, after conceding a late goal is third in the group with one point, just ahead on the number of goals scored over Malaysia.
Malaysia also has one point after its opening day draw with Myanmar.
After scoring a late equalizer against Cambodia, the Philippines also fought back against Myanmar and was pressing the action in the second half, launching numerous attacks.
However, a brief breakdown with some 15 minutes to go proved costly and the Philippines lost.
“We have to step up. I spoke to the boys before we left the bus. I said, ‘If we get the legs right, we will get another big step in the third game,’” team captain Stephen Schrock told media in an interview that was shared on social media.
Though the competition is for Under 22 players, each team is allowed two overage players. Aside from Schrock, a mainstay of the regular team and Ceres FC, the other overaged player is defender Amani Aguinaldo.
In 2005, needing a win against Malaysia to advance to the semifinals for the first time since 1991, the Philippines took a 2-1 lead but eventually lost 4-2. (ML)