Azkals Coach Michael Weiss made only one change to the side that drew with Cambodia with the inclusion of midfield maestro Stephan Schrock, against Singapore at Jurong West Stadium on Friday night.
It was a decision that made all the difference as the TSG Hoffenheim player was instrumental in creating both of Philippines goals in a famous 2-0 victory against Singapore.
It was the home side that had the first attempt on goal barely five minutes into the match as Shahril Ishak cleverly spotted Shi Jiayi lurking behind the Philippines defence and the former sent in a perfect through ball to his teammate at the edge of the box.
With only the goalkeeper to beat, the naturalised Singaporean hit straight into the path of England-based Philippines custodian, Neil Etheridge.
[RELATED: Singapore 0, Philippines 2 Postgame Thoughts]
It was a missed opportunity that would prove costly for the home side as the visitors took the lead just minutes later.
The Singapore defence was too sloppy at the right of midifield and Schrock took full advantage of the situation to start a counter-attack and eventually lay off the ball for captain Emilio Caligdong at the edge of the penalty box.
Caligdong controlled the ball well before cutting inside the defence and sending the ball to the top corner to make it a goal up for the Philippines.
It was nearly disaster for Singapore in the 25th minute as Hyrulnizam Juma’at delivered a horrendous goalkick. Luckily for the home side, Philip Younghusband was not able to make full use of the situation sending his shot wide.
Four minutes after the restart, Schrock was again in the thick of action as he started an attack from midfield before threading a beautiful ball to Philip who sent a well-placed curler to the far post, beyond the reach of the Singapore custodian.
Caligdong almost got a second for himself as he pounced on a Patrick Reichelt cross from the right, but it was brilliantly saved on the line by Hyrulnizam using his outstretched leg.
Singapore will next travel to Myanmar for a friendly on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 to continue their preparation for the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012. Philippines will meanwhile travel to Laos on September 10.
*Headline courtesy of Nina @NotAFembot & TJ Manotoc @tjmanotoc
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