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War Elephants dent Azkals hopes

Thailand put the Philippines on the verge of elimination following a masterful 4-0 victory in the AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup late Monday at the Thammasat Stadium in Pathum Thani in Thailand.

Teerasil Dangda delivered a brace in the second and 40th minutes to give the reigning champions a comfortable 2-nil lead and dictate the tempo the rest of the way.

As if the early onslaught wasn’t enough, Adisak Kraisorn and Suphanan Bureerat joined the scoring parade in the 57th and 63rd minutes, respectively, to seal the victory for the Thais, who logged their second straight win to lead Group A of this prestigious regional tourney that used to be known as the Suzuki Cup.

Aside from the Thais, the Indonesians are also on top of the leaderboard with a 2-0 record for six points.

The Azkals, meanwhile, fell to 1-2 and have to beat Indonesia on Monday at the Rizal Memorial Stadium to keep their flickering semifinal hopes alive.

A draw between the Thais and Indonesians will automatically boot the Filipinos out of contention.

Still, Azkals skipper Stephan Schrock vowed to come up with a strong finish regardless of what happens.

“We went down 1-0 in the opening minutes and destroyed everything,” the prolific Filipino-German midfielder said.

“There were errors made but we knew that Thailand will force us to defend very deep and have to be very disciplined the whole game. It didn’t work out how we wanted it.”

“We want to finish strong in the home game with a win if possible.”

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