Singapore draw was no surprise, says Greatwich

Sunday, December 5, 2010
Chris Greatwich wrote his name into the history books of Philippine football when his dramatic late equaliser earned his side a shock 1-1 draw against three-time AFF Suzuki Cup winners Singapore on Thursday evening.

But while the result was seen as one of the biggest surprises in the history of the tournament, Greatwich and his team mates knew such an outcome was always possible.

"People didn't think we were able to get this kind of result," said the England-born midfielder.

"People outside of the camp will be surprised but those involved in Philippine football always thought that this kind of result was viable.

"But if we don't produce the goods in the next two games that result is irrelevant, so hopefully we can get a result against Vietnam."

The Philippines meet the tournament hosts at My Dinh before taking on Myanmar in their final game on December 8 and, thanks to the draw against Singapore, the perception of the team that came through the qualifiers has changed overnight.

However, Greatwich's goal bore all the hallmarks that the Philippines had displayed during the preliminary rounds of the competition.

Another injury-time goal from James Younghusband against Laos earned the Philippines a 2-2 draw in Vientiane, a result which ultimate ensured Simon McMenemy's side qualified for the finals for the first time since 2007.

Now the Philippines side are confident they can continue to improve and start to make an impact at South East Asian level.

"In the six years that I've been involved with the Philippine team, this is the best result that we have had," said Greatwich.

"The feeling was euphoric after we got that goal. It's the culmination of a lot of hard work, not just here but we have always been working towards this.

"We have been progressing and getting better and closing on the bigger powerhouses of the region. I think we can compete with these teams on this level and it's great for us to get this result."


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