Defense was difficult all throughout.
This kept the Philippine Azkals from getting past Vietnam in the first leg of their 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup semifinal series at the Panaad Stadium here.
“Vietnam is a very good team, the best team we have played against in the Suzuki Cup. If you want to beat a team like them, you cannot concede two goals,” said Azkals coach Sven Goran Eriksson.
It was a struggle for the Philippines to stop Vietnam from their attacks throughout their 90-minute encounter.
And the Azkals’ defense seemed to have collapsed on both times Vietnam scored.
That’s when Nguyen Anh Duc and Phan Van Duc made their goals in the 12th and 48th minutes.
The game could have ended in a draw after Patrick Reichelt scored for the Philippines in the 47th, 1-all.
But Vietnam was quick with their counterattacks.
Reichelt had another decent chance to score in the closing stages after getting a pass from Stephan Schrock, but his shot from a difficult angle on the right was a bit too high in the 82nd minute.
Anh Duc’s first goal for Vietnam was a header from the center of the box to the top right corner.
Vietnam’s second goal from Van Duc came off his right-footed shot from the center of the box to the centre of the goal on a pass by Nguyen Trong Hoang.