Younghusband Keeps Suzuki Cup Semis Bid Alive in Draw vs Indonesia

Younghusband Keeps Suzuki Cup Semis Bid Alive in Draw vs Indonesia

Phil Younghusband kept the Philippines in contention for a spot in the semifinals after a nerve-wracking 2-2 draw against Indonesia last night at the Philippine Sports Stadium.
The Azkals captain could not have picked a more perfect way to end his 2-year goal drought. It was a well taken free kick in the 82nd minute to keep the race for the second semifinal spot alive heading in to the final match day on Friday.
“It was an exciting game,” said coach Thomas Dooley after the match. “Overall I think 2-2 scoreline is okay even if (Indonesia) had plenty of chances to win.”
Thomas Dooley made two changes in an otherwise unchanged squad. Martin Steuble started over Kenshiro Daniels at right back while Hikaru Minegishi made his first international start over Iain Ramsay.
Indonesia, who had improved from their last meeting in 2014, took a shock lead in the seventh minute. Fachruddin Aryanto sent a free header past Muller after the Azkals defense broke following Stefano Lilipally’s free kick.
The early goal set the tone of the match as Indonesia looked the more threatening side with their pace. However, the Philippine struck gold in the 31st minute, also from the set piece. Misagh Bahadoran slotted the ball in from close range at the end of Stephan Schrock’s free kick. The first half ended at 1-1.
The start of the second half saw the Philippines almost score the go ahead goal. Schrock released Bahadoran but the shot was straight to the side netting.
Indonesia then started to look threatening. Andik Vermansyah came close for the visitors in the 61st minute but his effort was denied by the post. The Merah Puti’s efforts paid off in the 68th minute when Boas Solozza struck to put Indonesia ahead for a second time.
With elimination from the tournament looming, the Azkals willed themselves to another comeback. Younghusband was brought down in the 81st minute and it set the tone for the captain’s return to his goalscoring ways.

From at least 25 yards out, Younghusband struck the ball beautifully into the top left corne. Pandemonium broke out around the stadium in the 82nd minute. It was the captain’s first goal in two years. Younghusband’s last goal was also in the Suzuki Cup against the same opposition.

In the opening match, Thailand qualified into the next around after defeating Singapore 1-0. Sarawut Masuk headed in a winner to break Singapore’s hearts after the Lions had been defending well for the whole of the match.

Thailand leads Group A with six points while the Philippines are in second with two points Singapore and Indonesia are just behind with a point apiece. Friday’s match will decide who will advance into the semifinals. The Philippines face Thailand at the Philippine Sports Stadium while Singapore face Indonesia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium. Kick off for both matches is at 8:00 PM. — CAL



Updates to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner