Following a 2-1 loss to Singapore in their Group A opener earlier in the week, the Azkals picked up their first points of the campaign on Saturday with an emphatic 7-0 triumph over minnows Timor-Leste.
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In a dominant display, Philippines smashed six past the Timorese in the first half before easing up after the break and adding just one more, with the goals coming from seven different scorers.
Given goal difference could be a factor when determining which two teams from the group advance to the semifinals, the fact that the Azkals managed such a big margin of victory -- with fellow Group A contenders Thailand and Myanmar only managing two-goal wins over Timor-Leste -- was not lost on them.
"Obviously, we came up strong in the first half and scored many goals," said Philippines man of the match Kevin Ingreso, who put in a majestic display in midfield and scored his side's 7th goal.
"That's what we wanted to do and we scored some good goals, played well and did our jobs."
A far tougher test lies ahead for Philippines on Tuesday in the form of the Thais, who are the tournament's record five-time champions and have been tipped as genuine contenders to go all the way.
Touching on how the rout of Timor-Leste would boost their confidence heading into a crucial tie, Philippines coach Stewart Hall said: "Mentally, we gained a lot from this game because we achieved all three objectives: to win, to score goals, and to get in front early so that we could rest players.
"So now we head into the game against Thailand with a lot of confidence, the squad is fit and no one will miss through suspension, so we'll go forward in good spirit.
"The Thailand game will be a different game but now we're ready."