The Philippines overcame early jitters and some tense moments in the second half to draw upset-conscious Myanmar, 0-0, to enter the semifinals of the AFF Suzuki Cup at the Hien Truong Stadium in Nam Dinh, Vietnam Wednesday night.
The surprising Filipino booters closed out their campaign with two draws and a win -– a 2-0 upset of defending champion Vietnam –- good for five points and second place behind the hosts, who booted out Singapore, 1-0, that same night.
Needing nothing less than a win to advance to the semis, the Vietnamese topped the four-nation meet with six points and drew Malaysia, the Group A runner-up, as their semifinal foes.
On the other hand, the nationals face Indonesia, which topped the Group A tourney held in the Indonesian capital in Jakarta, in the semis that gets tougher after the Asian Football Federation (AFF) decided to bar the Philippines from hosting a home match during the rest of the series, which begins on Dec. 16.
Following the Filipinos’ win, the AFF issued a press statement saying: ”The Philippines will not be able to play a leg of their semifinal or subsequent final at a home venue due to no available stadia in the country meeting the requirements for the AFF Suzuki Cup.”