BAHRAIN were held to a goalless draw by the Philippines national team in a friendly match at the Muharraq stadium last night.
The match was organised as part of Bahrain's preparations for the 21st Gulf Cup, which will be held in Bahrain from January 5 to 18 next year.
The first-half was mainly controlled by the Azkals. Ray Jonson and Rob Gier made a number of inroads, the most dangerous of which was a solo effort by Wolf who however failed to find the back of the net. Later, another attempt by striker Jerry Lucena was foiled by Bahrain's star goalkeeper Abbas Ahmed.
The second-half witnessed a more determined approach by the Bahrainis. Coach Taylor made five substitutions. He entered Mohammed Duaij, Essa Mosa, Abdulla Yusof, Said Ahmed Jaffar and Said Dhaya Seed instead of Salman Essa, Fawzi Ayesh, Moh'd Al Tayeb, Sami Alhusaini and Moh'd Harban.
After the 55th minute, the Azkals regained control of the match and made a number of attempts to pierce the Bahraini defence.
The Azkals came close to scoring in the 72nd minute when Azkal strikers stormed past a baffled Bahraini defender Mohammed Hussain. The Azkals, however, failed to convert the golden chance.
Philippines coach Hars Michaels substituted a couple of defenders with strikers to put more pressure on Bahrain. Jerry Lucena was replaced by Matthew Uy in the 75th minute and Dennis Wolf was substituted by Oj Potira in the 85th minute.
Bahrain coach Peter Taylor played with a new set of players - Abbas Ahmed (GK), Rashid Alhooty, Abdulwahab Ali, Salman Essa, Moh'd Hussain, Faqzi Ayesh, Moh'd Altayeb, Saleh Abdulhameed, Dawod Saad, Sami Al Hussaini and Moh'd Harban.
The Azkals consisted of goalkeeper Rolland Muller, Dennis Wolf, Paul Mulders, Emilio Calidong, Marvin Angeles, Jerry Lucena, Patrick Reichelt, Ray Jonson, Rob Gier, Tauni Guiredo and Dennis Cagara.
The match was witnessed by a large number of spectators from the Philippines community.
Bahrain will play another friendly match against the UAE on Tuesday in Dubai. The national team will leave for the UAE tomorrow. Coach Taylor has finalised a list of 24 players for the match.