Avramovic: we paid price for profligacy

Thursday, December 2, 2010
Singapore coach Raddy Avramovic was left ruing a string of missed chances as the three-time AFF Suzuki Cup winners were held to a surprise 1-1 draw by tournament minnows the Philippines at My Dinh Stadium on Thursday evening.

Chris Greatwich scored in the fourth minute of injury time to pick up a point for the Philippines in an enthralling encounter from which Simon McMenemy's team fully deserved a draw.

Aleksandar Duric looked to have given Singapore the three points with his 65th minute header and the Bosnia-born striker should have put the result beyond doubt five minutes from time when he saw his close range attempt cleared by the Philippine defence.

That was one of several goalscoring opportunities spurned by Singapore throughout the 90 minutes and Avramovic was criticial of his team's application in front of goal.

"Congratulations to the Philippines because they fought for 90 minutes and took two points away from us," said the Serb coach.

"It was a game of many missed chances and the last three minutes were because we were unable to finish the game professionally.

"I'm just disappointed that we didn't take half of the chances we created. It was a total loss of concentration and form in front of goal.

"There were many situations were players were in position to go for a shot but took extra touches and we were punished for that.

"We were leading 1-0 after a hard first half and opening to the second half; we have thrown away all our hard work in the last two minutes."

Avramovic had set his sights on not only collecting three points against the Philippines but also scoring as many goals as possible in an attempt to guarantee an advantage over Myanmar and Vietnam.

"It's become more complicated," he said. "(The Myanmar match) is like every other match, we must fight for it and use our heads."

In contrast, Philippine coach McMenemy was delighted with the result and was quick to praise his players' performances, both in defence and in front of goal.

"We just worked on trying to make ourselves very difficult to beat because we know we always carry the threat," said the 32-year-old Englishman.

"We worked very hard to keep our shape, to keep our discipline. We got lucky with a couple of minutes to go.

"The passion these boys have shown is just unbelievable. The fact that we were able to match Singapore speaks a lot about the work we've done. It was a really good team performance.

"We'll be enjoying this one because this was by no means an easy game. We deserve this result but it's going to be difficult from here."


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