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    Depleted, underprepared U-23 Azkals bow to Singapore Lions

    Dec 2, 2013

    A DEPLETED and underprepared Philippine men’s 23-under football team suffered a 0-6 beating at the hands of Singapore’s 23-under side in their charity friendly in opponent’s turf at Hougang Stadium on Sunday night.

    The 14-man U-23 Azkals surrendered an early goal before feeling the wrath of their Singaporean counterparts — who are in the final phase of their preparations for the Southeast Asian Games — in the second half on the way to the blowout loss.

    It was the U-23 Azkals’ second successive loss to the U-23 Lions, who scored a 1-0 win that marked the start of the Filipino booters’ buildup for the SEA Games last June.

    The Filipino footballers, who eventually failed to get the green light to take part in the biennial meet, played for a good cause this time as the proceeds of the match will go to the victims of super-typhoon Yolanda.

    Showing they are ready for the SEA Games, the U-23 Lions pummeled the visitors in the final 45 minutes when they scored all but one of their goals courtesy of Shahfiq Ghani (52nd minute), Sahil Suhaimi (56′) Hafiz Abu Sujad (70′), Iqbal Hussain (90′), and Madhu Mohana (90+2).

    Nazrul Nazari opened the floodgates for the hosts 28 minutes into the game when the unmarked striker received a cross from the left wing before scoring past goalkeeper Nick O’Donnell.

    A few moments later, Ronnie Aguisanda came in for right-back Angelo Marasigan, who went down with an injury for the already-decimated Philippine side. 

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