SINGAPORE, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Three-times winners Singapore edged into the final of the Suzuki Cup on Wednesday after Khairul Amri’s first-half strike was enough to see off the Philippines 1-0 on aggregate.
With the visitors arranging their backline, Amri collected a quick free kick in the 19th minute before unleashing a 20-metre low right-foot shot which bounced into the corner of the net for the only goal of 180 minutes of cagey football.
Singapore will now play the winners of the other semi-final of the Southeast Asian championships between Thailand and Malaysia with the duo locked at 1-1 ahead of the second leg in Bangkok on Thursday.
“Thailand and Malaysia are both very good teams, but we are a good team too,” Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic told reporters.
The first leg had produced few chances in Manila on Saturday but Singapore went about changing that with a bright opening and one goal was the least they deserved on the artificial pitch at the Jalan Besar Stadium.
The Philippines, competing in only their second semi-final of the 10-team tournament, dominated possession in the second half and they pinned the home side back but struggled to create any clear cut chances as Singapore eased through to the two-legged final.
“The players gave their 100 percent. We had a very good first half and probably should have scored another goal,” Avramovic added. (Editing by Julien Pretot)