Azkals rue draw with CambodiaBy Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
PHNOM PENH—Unable to finish off countless chances, the Philippines failed to get a reward for its hard work and settled for a scoreless draw against a stubborn Cambodia side Wednesday night at the wet and slippery National Olympic Stadium here.
Ranged against a team that needs to go through qualifying for the AFF Suzuki Cup, the Azkals were unlucky not to grab a late winner as they continued their buildup for the biennial tournament.
Phil Younghusband bungled an effort from eight yards in the 13th minute, Jason Sabio shook the crossbar with a header, before Patrick Riechelt was denied by the post six minutes from time.
While the outcome was similar to their last meeting, the Azkals looked the more threatening side this time, particularly in the second half where they carved out chance after chance in heavy downpour.
“We should have won the match very clearly but there were chances that we couldn’t take advantage of,” said Azkals coach Michael Weiss, whose side had 18 attempts on goal with 11 on target.
Except for a near goalkeeping mishap from Neil Etheridge when he miskicked a clearance in the 63rd minute and a half chance on the breakaway from Khem Borey, the Azkals were hardly troubled by the home side that was buoyed by a crowd of about 8,000.
Carli De Murga and Rob Gier needed to produce last-ditch tackles in the first half to prevent a couple of chances for Cambodia.
Younghusband was substituted in the 65th minute, making way for Denis Wolf, who also had three chances, including a clever turn from just outside the box before forcing a save from the Cambodian keeper Su Yatai.
Coming in for Jerry Lucena at halftime, Reichelt made an instant impact on the right wing on his international debut, but was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet when his shot hit the post in the 86th minute.
The Filipinos face Singapore Friday for the second of their three-country swing with Fil-German Stephan Schrock, fresh off his Bundesliga debut, back in the fold.