Scoring draw will be enough, but Palami says Azkals going for win in Bangkok tie
Azkals manager Dan Palami says a win over longtime nemesis Thailand has turned from 'improbable to possible' for the Philippine men's football team. Jaime Campos

A SCORING draw will be enough, but the Philippine men’s football team is aiming for no less than a victory in the return leg of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup semifinals against Thailand on Wednesday in Bangkok.

The Azkals held the 10-man War Elephants to a scoreless draw in the first leg last Saturday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium - a breakthrough against a team that had beaten them 14 straight times and 15 in their last 17 meetings.

That’s what gives team manager Dan Palami confidence heading into enemy territory.

“Now that we now how they play and we’ve tested their mettle, I think we can actually pull off a win,” the Azkals boss said. “Before it was improbable, but now, we’ve gone from improbable to possible.”

[See Azkals settle for goalless draw against 10-man Thailand in home semi]

Palami felt the Azkals could’ve scored a goal and won in the opener had they drawn a penalty after Phil Younghusband was tripped by a Thai defender inside the box in one play in the second half.

“Maybe a penalty given in one of the occasions where it could’ve been warranted, it would’ve been a better result.”

Still, Palami believes it’s just a matter of time before the Azkals break through the Thai defense.

“If we can withstand the pressure of their fans and we play aggressive and strong like we played here, I think we might just get that goal, finally.”

[See Scoreless draw against War Elephants feels like a win for Rob Gier]

Follow the writer on Twitter: @KarloSacamos