BOCAUE — Pika Minegishi couldn’t hide his frustration after missing several chances that would have given the Philippine Azkals a win and the three points in the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup.
The Filipino-Japanese midfielder, who came on as a substitute, got great chances to break a scoreless deadlock in the match, but couldn’t complete the opportunity in what could have been a huge boost to the Azkals' campaign in tough Group A.
Instead, the Azkals were forced to settle for a scoreless draw that left the team’s fans disappointed, more so because Singapore only had 10 men for majority of the contest after a red card on Hafiz Sujad.
“I was so unlucky today,” said the 25-year-old, who recently won MVP honors in the UFL. “I couldn’t score.”
In the 80th minute, Minegishi was set up well by Stephan Schrock and only had Singapore goalkeeper Hassan Sunny to beat from about 10 yards out, but his shot sailed over the crossbar.
During added time, Minegishi once again had a chance to be a hero but his header off a cross by Schrock was once again stopped by Sunny.
“I saw score,” said Minegishi, referring to the header. “But I was unlucky.”
Despite having those missed chances, Philippine head coach Thomas Dooley said he was happy with the performance of Minegishi.
“Pike came in and we had a couple of chances. Obviosuly, I’m frustrated but it’s part of the game," said the American-German coach.
The Azkals now face a must-win against Indonesia on Tuesday in their bid for a semifinal spot, and Minegishi has vowed to bounce back in the next match.
“Next time, I’m already thinking of changing [adjustments]. We have to win in the next game,” said Minegishi.