MANILA, Philippines – Football coach Michael Weiss said the Philippine Azkals still deserve praise despite failing to make it into the 2012 Suzuki Cup finals.
The Azkals suffered a heartbreaking loss to Singapore, 1-0, after conceding a goal in the away match of the semifinals at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday.
“It was still a good achievement for us to reach the semi-finals,” said Weiss in the tournament’s official website.
He added that they will charge the loss to experience with hopes of becoming a more polished team.
“Hopefully we can learn from this and come back stronger in the future,” said Weiss.
The Azkals duplicated their 2010 effort by finishing second in their group and advancing to the Cup’s semifinal round.
But the more experienced Singapore Lions, former two-time champions, foiled the Philippine side in the two-legged semis.
“Singapore’s extra portion of experience and coolness under pressure helped them and overall, they are deserved winners over the two games,” said Weiss.
The Azkals will be taking a break before returning to training for the 2014 AFF Challenge Cup, where the Filipino squad was clustered together with Turkmenistan, Cambodia and Brunei Darussalam in Group E.
The qualification matches for the 2014 Challenge Cup begins in March next year.