Captain Sunil Chhetri got on the score sheet but his goal was cancelled out by Philip Younghusband as the two sides could only manage a draw.By Anselm Noronha with Sanjeewan Mani at the stadium
India drew 1-1 with Philippines in an international friendly held at the Kanchanjangha Stadium in Siliguri on Friday evening. A Sunil Chhetri goal in the 41st minute was cancelled out by Philip Younghusband in the very next minute as the two sides were made to settle for a draw.
India coach Wim Koevermans made as many as six changes to the side that started in the SAFF (South Asian Football Federation) Championship final with Aibor Khongjee being handed a debut.
Hans Michael Weiß started with Philip Younghusband and Jeffrey Mallen Christiaens in attack, with Stephan Schrock back in the side after missing the friendly against United Arab Emirates which they lost 4-0.
The home side dominated proceedings early on as Sunil Chhetri tested the Filipino goalkeeper Roland Muller first in the 11th minute and again in the 28th minute when the Indian skipper saw his shot saved and the rebound sent wide by Francis Fernandes.
Philippines had a few chances of their own but Philip Younghusband was stopped in his tracks by a vital tackle put in by Khongjee at the half-hour mark.
Minutes later, Partick Reichelt's header was kept out by India goalkeeper Karanjit Singh while Schrock was marked well by the Indian defense.
India took the lead in the 41st minute when a Mehtab Hossain corner from the left was met by a powerful header from Chhetri which found the back of the net.
However, the visitors equalised in the very next minute as a stinging shot from Philip Younghusband on the edge of the box flew past the Indian custodian.
Philippines looked to take the upper hand in the second half, but Koevermans' men remained composed at the back.
In the 70th minute, Schrock played a one-two with Philip Younghusband while the latter's shot on the turn was easily collected by Karanjit Singh.
Weiß's side could have pulled off a winner a minute before regulation time when Philip Younghusband's shot bounced back from Karanjit's hands, while Reichelt's attempt off the rebound drifted wide.
The Indian custodian had to remain alert to the repeated encroachments made by the away team, but had a well-organised defense that absorbed the pressure.
India also had a last minute opportunity to bag the winner in injury time, but substitute Jeje Lalpekhlua headed over after the chance was created by Clifford Miranda.
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