2018 Suzuki Cup: Azkals look to recreate Miracle in Hanoi as as they fight for survival vs. Vietnam

ABS-CBN Sports on Dec 05, 2018 05:54 PM
Suzuki Cup: Azkals look to recreate Miracle in Hanoi
Miracle in Hanoi 2.0? The Azkals will need it to keep their 2018 Suzuki Cup campaign alive. (Photo courtesy of @affsuzukicup on Twitter)

The Philippine Men's National Football team will need another Miracle in Hanoi when they take on Vietnam in the second leg of the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup Semifinals, Thursday evening at the My Dinh National Stadium.

The Azkals will be heading into Thursday's match down 2-1 on aggregate, and will need the performance of a lifetime if they wish to finally slip into the tournament's finale. 

Vietnam got off to an early start in the first leg of the semifinals, with Nguyen Anh Duc hitting early. 

Patrick Reichelt managed to even things up before halftime, but Vietnam went ahead once more, early in the second half thanks to Phan Van Duc, and never looked back. 

With their Suzuki Cup lives at stake, the Philippines will hope to recreate some magic from years past.

December 5, 2010, eight years and a day prior to Thursday's crucial matchup, a relatively unheralded Azkals side, led by a young Phil Younghusband and veteran Chris Greatwich, authored what would come to be known as "The Miracle in Hanoi". 

Younghusband and Greatwich both scored to help lead the Azkals - who failed to qualify for the tournament's previous staging - to a 2-0 victory over then-defending champions Vietnam in the 2010 Suzuki Cup group stage.

The win would help propel the Philippines to that year's semifinals.

While it would be the Azkals' only win during that tournament, it was a landmark moment in Philippine football history, as it effectively jumpstarted the sport's popularity in the country. 

Eight years and a day later, team captain Younghusband and Assistant Coach Greatwich, as well as the rest of the Philippine Azkals look to score another landmark win for Philippine football. 

Kick-off time is at 8:30 PM, Manila time. 

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