A free-flowing attacking game of football from both sides did not result in a victory despite Philippines keeping the lead for majority of the match.As expected, the friendly match between the Philippines and Malaysia was interesting and exciting. The Philippine Azkals, quite unexpectedly, started the game aggressively right from the start. A total of three free-kicks near the goal area were awarded to the Azkals in the first twenty minutes of the game.
The Azkals surprisingly dominated the early stages of the match with great passing, strong defensive play and great variety of shots. At the 34th minute, Dennis Wolf opened the scoring for the Philippine Azkals. The first-half ended with the Philippines on top and with a total of 9 shots taken, 6 of them on target. The Malaysians only managed 3 shots on target from 8.
The second-half started with the Azkals demonstrating the same intensity and aggressiveness as in the first period of play. The Malayan Tigers tried several times to break the defence of the Azkals, but to no avail. As time was running out for the Tigers, out of nowhere, Ahmad Shakar Ali broke loose to score a goal for Malaysia in the final minute of play.
While the draw was a big disappointment for the Malaysian they could find consolation with the 90th minute goal as a sign of resiliency. Malaysia never surrendered and somehow salvaged a draw. The Philippine Azkals, on the other hand, were surprisingly still happy with a draw, despite letting slip a famous win. As Azkals' coach Michael Weiss best put it in his post-match interview, "the Azkals were able to stand their ground against a stronger and more cohesive team."
The Philippine Azkals will fly next to Nepal for the AFC Challenge Cup while the Malaysians will try to keep in shape as they defend their title in the Suzuki Cup in December.