YANGON (9 Sept 2011) – Philippines made a great impression with their ‘Musangs’ to hold Singapore to a 1-1 draw while Cambodia clashed to a scoreless stalemate in Group A of the AFF Under-19 Championship here at the Youth Training Centre.
Musangs – a type of small fox – were unveiled for the first time since their inception a few months back and Philippines chief coach Maor Rozen could not be more than pleased with their performance especially when they had to play for much of the game with just ten men.
The Philippines lost Kent Guevarra in the 16th minute for a second bookable offence.
“Of course we are not happy with the result even though it was hard to play against a side like Singapore,” said Maor after the match.
“But we did maximum having to play around 75 minutes with ten players. Now it is important that we look at making recover of those players who are injured.”
With the sun coming out in full glory for the first time in the afternoon in days, the game was fast and entertaining at the start although in their eagerness to impress, the young Philippines side suffered a setback when Guevarra was given the marching orders by referee Oki Dwi Senjaya from Indonesia.
But that did little to change their outlook on the game as the Filis kept up the pressure before surprisingly taking the lead in the 38th minute when Leo Carlo Liay slammed home the cross from Dan Marnil Villarico’s corner.
Five minutes into the second half, it was Singapore’s turn to be penalised when Mohamed Iqbal Hamid Hussain was given a straight red card after he was deemed to have made a serious foul on Jenery Gabuan.
With both teams down to ten men, the quality of the game remained intact with Singapore pressing hard for the equaliser.
And they were rewarded for their hard work six minutes to the end when off a cross from Muhammad Danial Razali, the waiting Shannon Stephen first timed the shot from the far post.
“Our performance in the first half was not good, so getting a point from this game is alright with us,” added Mohamad Akbar Nawas, the chief coach of Singapore.
“If the pitch condition was better, I believe that we could have played a better game of football.”
On the other hand, Cambodia put up a stunning display to hold Malaysia to a scoreless draw in the second match of the day.