By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
It seemed like the Philippine Azkals still couldn’t solve the Thailand puzzle after losing in another football showdown.
Fresh off a huge win against Brunei before Christmas day, the Philippine national football team failed to sustain its momentum and crashed down against Thailand, 4-0, in the group stage of the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup on December 26, 2022.
Azkals’ kryptonite Teerasil Dangda haunted the Filipino booters as early as the first half as the talented striker delivered two goals in the first 45 minutes of action.
The same guy that broke the national team’s hearts during their last meeting sparked Thailand’s bright AFF campaign with an early goal in the third minute of the match.
A rushing Dangda received a well-timed through ball pass from Theerathon Bunmathan in the right side of the penalty box and found the back of the net after a thundering kick.
Dangda wasn’t done doing damage and completed his brace after cashing in another conversion four minutes before the first half was about to end.
Despite the adjustments that the Azkals deployed in the second half, the booters from Thailand were still unfazed and continued to pour in the attack.
The duo of Adisak Kraisorn and Suphanan Bureerat wrapped up Thailand’s majestic performance against the Philippines after goals in the 57th and the 63rd minute, respectively.
After a 1-2 start in the AFF Cup, the Azkals will have one last chance to clinch a victory as they face Indonesia on January 2, 2023, at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.
If they win against Indonesia and Cambodia loses in their next match, the PHL representatives will then have a chance to barge into the tournament semifinals.