LOCALS BACK AZKALS TRIUMPH
Anything less than a win, would be a letdown.
That's the view of the local media here ahead of tonight's big kickoff.
Jonathan Terrado, sports journalist with local daily Manila Bulletin, said: "It would be disappointing for us if the match ends in a draw.
"Everyone's talking about us being one of the two semi-finalists from Group A.
"We are without (main striker Javier) Patino, but I believe our strength in midfield will make up for the loss."
While the form book points to a win for the home side, Terrado was wary.
Philippines have beaten world No. 99 side Kyrgyzstan twice in three months, while Singapore's 1-0 win over 167th-ranked Cambodia last week snapped a run of six winless games.
"Everyone can say we're the favourites, but until the first match, you never know," he said.
"I heard Singapore haven't been in good form, but the Suzuki Cup could be where they turn it around. So we will see."
Azkals fan Eddy Benavides is praying for a win.
Football is still far from being the No. 1 sport in the country, with basketball, boxing and mixed martial arts well ahead.
"I think football will only become really popular if the team win a tournament like the Suzuki Cup," said the 22-year-old.
So we want to beat Singapore and then try qualify for the final.
We have high hopes for the team this year, and I think only Thailand are clearly ahead of us."
- SAZALI ABDUL AZIZ