The Lions dominated the first half of the game with several offensive goal attempts but the Azkals put up a good defense with the superb defensive game by Azkal goalkeeper Ed Sacapano.
The Singapore team also had more ball possessions in the first half as they took advantage of Azkals' weak offensive actions in going for the ball.
But in the second half of the game, the Azkals succeeded in putting more pressure on the Lions by taking more offensive actions, resulting into more ball possessions.
Still, the Azkals failed to convert a goal due to the Lion's increased defensive posturing to prevent the Askals from scoring.
In the post-game interview, Azkals' coach Michael Weiss said, his team was too cautious in the first half but they made some adjustments on the second half.
“We were a bit too cautious (in the first half), but I like how we played in the second half, ” Weiss said.
The Azkals played for the first time as a semi finalist in their home turf after beating Vietnam and Myanmar in the elimination round of the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup competition.
The Lions is a 3-time AFF Suzuki Cup winner while the Azkals have yet to win in the prestigious Southeast Asian football tournament. Read more:
On Wednesday, the series will move to Singapore for the second leg of the semi-final series. The winner could either face Thailand or Malaysia for the title.