Azkals battle Cambodia to scoreless draw
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The international friendly between the Philippine Azkals and Team Cambodia on Wednesday ended in a scoreless draw.
The game, which took place at the Cambodians' pitch in Phnom Penh, saw fruitless attempts by the Azkals who struggled on the host country’s poor playing turf.
Further hampering the Filipino footballers' efforts was a heavy downpour in the second half, making the pitch too slippery for the players to maneuver.
The Azkals clearly dominated the Cambodians in ball possession, as shown by their 18 total goal scoring attempts compared to their opponents' 5.
However, the young Cambodian team showed fortitude against the Azkals’ attacks.
In the 8th minute, the Azkals had a chance to score, but Phil Younghusband misfired from 8 yards.
Jason Sabio’s header rattled the cross bar minutes later.
A bad kick by Neil Etheridge near the goal nearly handed an easy goal for the Cambodians in the 63rd minute.
Fortunately, Etheridge was able to clear the ball.
In the 73rd minute, Jason de Jong made a good pass to Dennis Wolf who nearly struck a goal with a left-footer. The Cambodian keeper barely parried the shot.
The Azkals almost pulled off a miracle during the 6 minute added time when Patrick Riechelt’s shot went past the Cambodian goalie.
But his attempt was denied after the ball hit the goal post.
In the end the Azkals had 11 shots on goal, while the Cambodians had 3.
The Filipinos also had 9 corners against the host country’s 3.
Prior the game, the Philippines had a scoreless draw against the Cambodians in 2010.
The Azkals were expected to beat the Cambodians owing to their better ranking in the FIFA list.
Cambodia ranked No. 191 in the world, while the Philippines is ranked No. 150.
The Azkals will next face Singapore on Friday.