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Azkals remain upbeat despite Malaysia draw



Tiebreaker Times Azkals remain upbeat despite Malaysia draw Football News Philippine Azkals  Phil Younghusband Iain Ramsay Azkals Friendly

After a two-month hiatus, the Philippine Azkals were back in action last night against Malaysia. However, it was not the return they expected, as for the fifth straight time, the Philippine side saw the match end in a stalemate against the Malaysian National Team.

Besides the aforementioned fifth straight draw between the two squads, Harimau Malaysia still haven’t lost a game to the Philippines in 26 years. The last time Philippines won against Malaysia was in the 1991 SEA Games.

And the Azkals believe that last night, they could’ve ended that drought right then and there.

“We felt we should have won the game, felt there should have been a penalty in the first few minutes but that’s the side of refereeing that could cost you a win,” 29-year-old Phil Younghusband opined.

“We’re disappointed. We felt we controlled the game. We were the better team but we just couldn’t put the ball at the back of the net.”

Midfielder Iain Ramsay added, “I think in this type of game, if we converted our chances in the first half, to be honest with you, I think we would have easily won the game.”

But even if they were not able to secure the win, Ramsay felt that it was a good outing for the Philippines in preparation for next week’s 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifier against Nepal.

“Little bit disappointing in that respect but in terms of the pressing and how we played as a team, I think it was positive,” noted the 29-year-old Filipino-Australian.

Among the team’s composition, it is mostly Global-Cebu Football Club and Ceres-Negros Football Club players who are in shape, as they are still campaigning in the 2017 AFC Cup. For Younghusband, last night’s contest came at a good time for the Azkals.Tiebreaker Times Azkals remain upbeat despite Malaysia draw Football News Philippine Azkals  Phil Younghusband Iain Ramsay Azkals Friendly

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“I think the most important thing was that we got to play together after such a long break. We’ve played Nepal in the past and Malaysia have always been the stronger team but this is football and you can never be too careful so our preparation will be the same in the Nepal game as it was in the other games,” shared the former Chelsea man.

With the game over with, the Azkals’ focus is now on Nepal.

A good start in the third 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifying round is a must for the Philippines, as momentum will be key. Aside from Nepal, Yemen and Tajikistan make up Group F. And every win matters, as the two top teams in the group will go to the tournament proper, to be held at the United Arab Emirates.

“Obviously we’ll look at the game and see where we can improve. We’ll do our best to recover well tomorrow and then we’ll go again and train hard in the lead up to our game against Nepal,” concluded Ramsay, who has three international goals registered in his name.

“As I said we feel good. There’s a lot of confidence in the team. The only thing we were lacking tonight was that goal. If we can do the same performance against Nepal and score, then I’m sure we can win the game.”

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Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces