Azkals in waiting game after draw with Nepal
The Philippines’ hopes of qualifying in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup may have to wait a bit longer after being held to a scoreless draw in a gallant stand by Nepal at home yesterday at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu.
The Philippines was hoping to qualify with a win over Nepal, still winless in the tournament. But Nepal was tough and gave the Philippines a very good fight.
The Azkals came off from the opening whistle looking to score the early goal with a very aggressive offense. Mike Ott, Phil Younghusband, Carly De Murga and Curt Dizon all had close attempts that could have well put the Philippines up front in the first half.
In the second half, Nepal finally found its rhythm and threatened to score on several occasions.
Daisuke Sato was so close at hitting the back of the net in the 83rd minute with a header coming off a corner kick but a defender got a boot in to deflect the shot. Ott also hit a header in the next play from a cross pass by Younghusband, but his shot went wide.
In the third minute of extra time, Neil Etheridge took a free kick near the half-way line, kicked it accurately to De Murga, which headed it in to the near post. /
Mike Ott’s shot is foiled by Thailand’s second string keeper in the Azkals’ match with Thailang last year. The PH team had a draw with Nepal yesterday, stuck at nine points, but is still on top of Group F.