Philippines vs Singapore: Ratings

Singapore were unable to make their chances count on Saturday as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Philippines in the first leg of their AFF Suzuki Cup semi-final clash.

Younghusband gets the better of his opponent...

By ESPNSTAR.com staff

The Lions dominated the first half and carved out a plethora of chances but were unable to convert, with captain Shahril Ishak, who otherwise had a good game, missing the pick of the bunch when he fired wide of an unguarded net in the 26th minute.

Wasteful Singapore held by Philippines

Weiss: Azkals in good position to make final

Raddy laments Lions' wasteful ways

Philippines came back strongly in the second half and nearly stole the win in the 72nd minute when Paul Mulders curled a lovely freekick just over the bar.

Here, ESPNSTAR.com takes a look at the players who took to the field in the first-ever Suzuki Cup game to be held in Philippines.

Philippines

Eduard Sacapano - 8

Given Sacapano's form in the tournament, it wouldn't be a complete surprise if usual number one Neil Etheridge has to settle for a place on the bench when he's next available for international duty.

The one thing that really stood out from the Philippine Army custodian's display was his excellent reading of the game, as he twice rightly left his goal unguarded to claim dangerous crosses that would otherwise have led to clear chances.

Carli de Murga - 7.5

Despite the intimdating prospect of coming up against Aleksandar Duric, De Murga more than held his own against his bigger opponent and even beat him once in an aerial challenge.

The Global man was also eager to push forward whenever he had the chance, and should have done enough to keep his place in the side for next Wednesday's return encounter ahead of Ray Jonsson.

Rob Gier - 7

Gier, who has skippered the side in the absence of Emelio Caligdong from the starting XI, was at his inspirational best as he organised his backline to good effect.

The 31-year-old was given a problem or two by the dangerous Shahril, but had a good game overall.

Juan Luis Guirado - 7

Like Gier, Guirado was also had a couple of nervy moments against the attacking threat of Singapore, but played his part in keeping another clean sheet - Philippines' third in three games.

The veteran also showed he isn't afraid to put his body where it hurts midway through the second half when he put his face in the path of a fierce shot from Khairul Amri while lying on the ground.

Dennis Cagara (off 87') - 6.5

Cagara, who only arrived in Philippines on Friday evening, put in a no-nonsense shift at left-back but was slightly wasteful with his deliveries into the box.

James Younghusband - 6.5

Younghusband started very brightly and looked a real threat down the right as he regularly got past his man and exchanged incisive one-twos with his colleagues.

As the game wore on, Shaiful Esah managed to keep the 26-year-old at bay, but it was still promising signs from the Loyola Meralco Sparks star.

Jason de Jong (off 46') - 5

De Jong may be one of Filipino football's hottest prospects but he had a game to forget on Saturday as he regularly gave away possession in dangerous areas with some awful passing, and it was no surprise he was hauled off by coach Michael Weiss at the break.

With Jerry Lucena available for selection in next Wednesday's clash, it is likely that the 22-year-old will be the one to make way.

Paul Mulders - 7

With De Jong struggling to find his feet, the Azkals were fortunate that Mulders did not similarly disappoint as he put in a tidy display in the middle of the park.

Patrick Reichelt (off 77') - 7.5

Reichelt struggled to get into the game early on as he was well handled by the experienced Daniel Bennett, but he came to life after the break and was a real threat down the left flank until he made way for the introduction of Caligdong in the 77th minute.

Phil Younghusband - 7

Philippines' failure to create much in their attacking third meant the 25-year-old striker only had one real sighting at goal - in the 20th minute when did well to get a snapshot away although it was comfortably smothered by Izwan Mahbud.

Nonetheless, Phil Younghusband did do well to drop deep and hold up the ball before passing it on to his supporting team-mates, and is slowly but surely hitting top form in Southeast Asia's premier international tournament.

Angel Guirado - 6

The Salgaocar striker was rewarded for his goal in their last Group A game against Myanmar with a start but he failed to repay Weiss' faith in him.

Quite remarkably, the powerfully-built Guirado spent more of this time on the ground as he was constantly barged off the ball by Safuwan Baharudin.

Substitutions

Marwin Angeles (on 46') - 7

The youngster did well after coming on for De Jong and was a reason why the Azkals were a much better side in the second half.

Emelio Caligdong (on 77') - N/A

Caligdong was brought on with 13 minutes to go to try and exploit the tiring opposition defenders, but didn't get enough of the ball to really pose a threat.

Jeffrey Christiaens (on 87') - N/A

The youngster came on to for Cagara close to the end but had insufficient time to make an impact.

Singapore

Izwan Mahbud - 7

After conceding three against Laos in the next last game, Izwan must be relieved to have kept a clean sheet against Philippines, who are more than capable of finding the back of the net.

The 22-year-old was particularly impressive when he came to claim a number of dangerous deliveries into the box.

Daniel Bennett - 6.5

Bennett was sharp in the tackle and did well against Reichelt early on, although his opponent did get the better of him after the break.

However, the SAFFC captain will be slightly disappointed with the number of misplaced passes he made, although he did sent Amri through early on with a hopeful long ball from the back, only for his Sacapano to make the save.

Baihakki Khaizan - 8.5

Once again, the LIONSXII star showed why he is regarded as one of the best centre-backs in the region.

Baihakki weighed in with several vital tackle and interceptions on the edge of his area and made it look so easy, and his leadership at the back will go a long way in determining how far Singapore go in 2012.

Safuwan Baharudin - 7

It's always difficult to shine when you're playing alongside Baihakki but thankfully for Safuwan, he is a talented young defender and put in an accomplished display on Saturday.

Shaiful Esah - 6.5

Shaiful put in a decent performance but like his fellow left-back Cagara, could have perhaps threatened more with his deliveries from out wide.

Shahdan Sulaiman - 6

If the 24-year-old manages to hit form, the Lions will have a real creative outlet in the engine room but for now, he is struggling to impose himself on games.

While he rarely misplaces a pass, he has failed to show the same kind of visionary balls that saw become a real star in the Malaysia Super League last season.

Isa Halim - 7

Handed his first start in this year's tournament, Isa repaid the faith shown in him by coach Radojko Avramovic with a trademark no-nonsense showing in the middle of the park.

Mustafic Fahrudin - 8

In the absence the injured Hariss Harun, Mustafic has really stepped up as the driving force in Singapore's midfield, and covered almost every inch of grass at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The Tampines Rovers anchorman nonchalantly broke down opposition attacks, before getting his team on the front foot immediately with his penetrative distribution.

Aleksandar Duric - 6.5

The Azkals must have been stunned at kickoff when they saw Duric line up on the left, and it was an interesting move by Avramovic given the 42-year-old didn't exactly get the better of De Murga in their duel.

Nonetheless, he was very dangerous when he drifted into the box and should have gotten an assist when his cross-cum-shot midway through the first half was poked wide by Shahril.

Duric was also guilty of missing a good chance of his own early on in the second half when he outjumped Gier at the far post but could only send his header wide.

Khairul Amri (off 78') - 7

Until he was taken off in the 78th minute after picking up a knock, Amri looked lively in attack and was always first to the loose ball in the attacking third.

The 27-year-old also came close to breaking the deadlock in the second half when he sent a deft freekick just over the bar.

Shahril Ishak - 7.5

Despite missing a good chance, it cannot be denied that Shahril had an excellent game as he tormented the hosts' backline with his pace and trickery.

The Lions skipper was regularly seen leaving a trail of opponents in his wake, and looks the biggest threat to Philippines come next Wednesday.

Substitutions

Fazrul Nawaz (on 78') - N/A

Fazrul came on with 12 minutes to go after Amri picked up a knock but didn't get many chances to test the opposition defence.



comments powered by Disqus

Most Popular News

News & Update