Singapore have made it back-to-back wins to open the 2020 AFF Suzuki Cup as they survived a late Philippines onslaught in a 2-1 victory at the National Stadium.

After a largely uneventful opening hour things took a dazzling turn as Singapore scored twice in two minutes through Hariss Harun and Faris Ramli before the Azkals pegged one back in the 69th minute via the head of Amin Nazari.

The Azkals had several late chances to grab a point with Singapore coach Tatsuma Yoshida claiming that both the result and the performance was a deserved one.

“I want to say thank you to the Singapore fans for coming tonight, the three points of course they make me happy and the performance was also good," said the Japanese coach.

"The team work, positioning and fighting spirit, the Singapore spirit, they really showed that in the second half. This win could be a real turning point for us.”

It was Singapore that settled the best with forward Gabriel Quak having a pair of testing efforts inside the first ten minutes before the Philippines star man Stephan Schrock pushed a 12th minute shot wide of the target.

The match was being played with a physical edge to it and in between some frequent stoppages for fouls it was the hosts that had a good chance as Zulfahmi Arifin sent his 21st minute free kick from the edge of the box straight at Kevin Hansen in the Philippines goal.

Shakir Hamzah found himself in an advanced position as half-time approached but his drive from distance failed to find the target as a tight opening 45 minutes ended scoreless.

After another quiet spell to open the second half the game sprung to life just after the hour in dramatic fashion as firstly Irfan Fandi headed a corner across goal to Hariss who nodded home from close range in the 61st minute.

Just two minutes later and the hosts doubled the lead as a surging run down the right from Zulqarnaen Suzliman saw him pick out an onrushing Faris who volleyed home a shot past Hansen to make it 2-0.

The Azkals refused to lay down though with Nazari flicking home a corner from the right from Kevin Ingreso at the near post to make it 2-1 with 20 minutes to play and set up a thrilling finish.

Singapore substitute Song Ui-young sent a shot straight at Hansen with just over a quarter of an hour remaining before a frantic finish saw the Azkals throw everything they had at the hosts with a penalty shout being waved away in the 88th minute and a lashed drive from substitute Angel Guirado flying wide a minute later to cap a lively finish to a clash that the hosts ultimately won 2-1.

Whilst not the result they were looking for it was still a performance that pleased new Philippines coach Stewart Hall outside of what he termed a ‘crazy’ couple of minutes.

“I didn’t think we’d lose but we got beaten in three minutes and we’ve thrown away 87 minutes of hard work," said Hall. 

“It’s hard for me to be critical after a performance like that and the players know we lost the game in just three minutes. We know now we have to win maybe three games to go through so we know what’s stacked against us but as long as the attitude is positive like today then we have a chance.”