AFF Suzuki Cup 2018: Vietnam have a bright future ahead of them – Philippines star James Younghusband

Falling just short of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup final, Philippines’ James Younghusband reflected on their semifinal match against Vietnam.

Over two legs, the Golden Dragons emerged triumphant with a 4-2 aggregate score. The elder Younghusband found the back of the net in he second leg – a 2-1 defeat – but it wasn’t enough to see the Azkals through to the final round.

After going down 2-1 after the first leg, the Philippines showed their grit in their match at Hanoi, with Younghusband giving credit to the team and their opponents as he spoke to AFF Suzuki Cup.

“Obviously, we are all disappointed with the final result but every player really stepped up and played their hearts out,” said the Filipino.

“Players tracked back and worked hard, but Vietnam has a very strong team and they have a good future ahead of them.”

In the second semifinal match, Younghusband achieved an individual feat as he is now the second Filipino to ever achieve 100 caps for the country, with the first being his younger brother Phil.

Unfortunately, James was more focused on getting the victory, saying: “I’d rather have the team winning,” said James. “It was nice getting to 100 caps. Thank you very much to the players who came up to me and congratulated me. I just wished it was in better circumstances.”

He would then give the Azkals credit as they did well despite falling short of their target of reaching the final, as a semifinal berth against one of the contenders is already impressive.

“We’ve had some obstacles, to be honest, but we’ve all come together as a team. The coaching staff, the management, the players all came together. Its been a test, but that has been the Suzuki Cup, being professional and getting on with things despite the difficulties.”