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Tiebreaker Times

2016 AFF Suzuki Cup (Philippines)

Younghusband freekick saves Philippines a point versus Indonesia


The hopes of a semi-finals appearance in the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup is still alive as the Philippine Men’s National Football Team managed to salvage a 2-2 draw against Indonesia tonight at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan.

Misagh Bahadoran (31′) and captain Phil Younghusband (82′) scored the goals for the Azkals in what was a dramatic game. Fachruddin Aryanto (7′) and Boaz Salossa (68′) did so as well for Indonesia.

“It was an exciting game. Both can live with the result,” said Azkals mentor Thomas Dooley. “We struggled a little bit. We created some chances. The team will be ready vs Thailand.”

A difficult start to the game was in store for the Philippines. At just the 7th minute of the contest, Stefano Lilipaly provided a good ball into the Azkals box which was headed into goal by defender Aryanto.

It was an unwelcome setback for an Azkals side still struggling to impose themselves in this competition, and it could have been worse minutes later if it weren’t for a Jeffrey Christieans goalline clearance.

Unlike Singapore, though, Indonesia plays offensive football and this in turned allowed the Philippines the spaces to penetrate into. The Ott brothers, Manny and Mike, were crucial to the Azkals’ causes as they drove the home side forward and forced saves from Indonesia goalie Kurnia Hermansyah.

The Red and Whites kept on pummeling the home side. Azkals goalie Roland Muller held firm to deny the away side which had multiple chances in a single sequence of play. Indonesia skipper Salossa also had a sniff at goal easily caught by Muller.

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Come the 31st minute, the Philippines finally scored a goal in the tournament. was fouled and the resulting free kick was taken by Stephan Schrock. Schrock delivered a good ball which was turned in clinically by Bahadoran.

Indonesia came roaring back after it conceded a goal. Muller denied Salossa two consecutive times and the latter even had a goal disallowed in between. It finished Philippines 1-1 Indonesia at the break which was a fair reflection of the game.

The same frenetic pace witnessed in the first half carried over the second period. Similar to their previous game against Singapore, the Azkals looked reinvigorated and sought to go for the win. That initiative was evident when Schrock had a good attempt hit the Indonesia goal’s side-netting.

Indonesia, too, didn’t allow its intensity to drop. Muller, though, was the away side’s chief deterrent as he was alert to thwart Lilipaly, Evan Dimas and Andik Vermansyah with fine stops.

Unfortunately for the Philippines, Indonesia wasn’t to be denied. Vermansyah had another go at goal and his attempt was blocked by the post. However, the Azkals defense failed to clear the danger and Salossa tapped the ball in at the 68th minute.

With perhaps the whole campaign resting on this game, the Philippines poured in everything it had in the final third of the pitch. The Azkals failed to create chances from open play, and opportunities came only from direct free kicks.

Schrock tried his luck, only for it to be deflected out. The Azkals then had another chance when Younghusband was fouled at the edge of Indonesia’s box. The veteran stepped up to take it and sent it past Hermansyah to level the scores at the 82nd minute.

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Eight minutes were left in the contest. Indonesia and the Philippines knew only a win would do to help their respective chances of going to the semi-finals. Nevertheless, a third goal failed to come after some routine goalkeeping from Muller and Hermansyah.

“We saw a very interesting match. We should have won the match. Very unlucky, but football is like this,” stated Indonesia coach Alfred Riedl. “Our chances are minimized. Thailand is the favorite against the Philippines. It’s 50-50 against Singapore.”

After 90 minutes, the bout ended Philippines 2-2 Indonesia. The result left the Philippines needing to beat Thailand on November 25 (Friday, 8:00 PM) at the Philippine Sports Stadium to secure passage to the next round.

“Thailand doesn’t want to lose for the first time against us. We don’t expect them to pull backs,” surmised Dooley.

On the other hand, Indonesia will play Singapore at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila, 8:00 PM.

Philippines XI: Muller (GK), Ott Mi., Ott Ma., Misagh, Younghusband P. (C), Aguinaldo, Ingreso, Schrock, Steuble, Christiaens, Minegishi

Indonesia XI: Hermansyah (GK), Wahyudi, Lestaluhu, Darmono, Salossa (C), Lilipaly, Babu, Basna, Pora, Aryanto, Vermansyah.

Written By

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


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