Azkals in wait­ing game af­ter draw with Nepal

Sun.Star Cebu - - PRIME SPORTS -

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. /

SUNS­TAR FILE FOTO

WAIT.

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.

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