Bacolod: A late goal from Patrick Reichelt earned the Philippines an important 1-0 win over Singapore in their opening match of the AFF Suzuki Cup 2018.

The visitors were chasing their second win of the campaign after their first up win over Indonesia last week, while the Azkals were looking to start their campaign off on a winning note in Sven-Goran Eriksson’s first match in charge of his new side. 

It was the home side who looked to take control of the match early, with the first real chance of the match coming courtesy of a spectacular effort from Mike Ott, but his bicycle kick sailed wide of the target. 

Singapore’s best chance of the half came from a set piece, but Ikhsan Fandi’s effort was narrowly off target and Cardiff City-based goalkeeper Neil Etheridge wasn’t called upon to make a save.

The home side enjoyed more than 60% of the possession in the first half, but none of their five attempts on goal were on target as the Singaporean defence held strong going into half time.

It was much of the same in the second half as both side’s struggled to create clear goal scoring opportunities, with Hassan Sunny making a fine save just after the hour mark to deny Phil Younghusband as the home side pushed for the opening goal.

The breakthrough finally came for the home side with just over ten minutes remaining, when Reichelt got on the end of a flick on from James Younghusband, weaving his way into the area and firing a shot past Sunny.

The solitary goal was enough for the Philippines to earn all three points as they now face a trip to Kuala Lumpur to face Timor-Leste, while Singapore now has a week to regroup ahead of their next match, also against Timor-Leste, at home on Matchday Four.