By Jonas Terrado
(Biñnan Football Stadium, Laguna)
4 p.m. – Philippines vs Timor-Leste
(Rizal Memorial Stadium)
4 p.m. – Cambodia vs Malaysia
The Philippines will need a mixture of good form and luck as it tries to secure a semifinals berth against Timor-Leste Wednesday in the final match of Group A in the 30th Southeast Asian Games at the Biñan Football Stadium in Laguna.
Buoyed by the stunning 1-0 win over Malaysia last Friday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium, the Young Azkals are favored to get the maximum three points in the match set at 4 p.m.
But the national booters will also have to rely on the result of the other Group A game between Cambodia and Malaysia which also has a 4 p.m. kickoff at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Cambodia, Malaysia and Philippines are level after three matches with four points apiece.
Myanmar earned the first semis berth and the top spot in the group with 10 points courtesy of three wins and one draw.
The Cambodians hold the advantage with a +4 goal difference, Malaysia is +3 while the Philippines is at 0.
Getting more goals as possible while relying on the misfortunes of either team will bode well for the Young Azkals, who are out to give the country its first SEA Games semis appearance since placing fourth in the 1991 Manila Games.
The best option for the Philippines is to progress is to get a win and for Cambodia and Malaysia to settle for a draw.
Other option will be a victory coupled with a Malaysia triumph over Cambodia in order for the Young Azkals to make the semis due to the head-to-head advantage which was earned through Stephan Schrock’s goal in the 72nd minute.