AFC ASIAN CUP 2019 QUALIFIERS - GROUP F: PHILIPPINES 2-2 YEMEN
Bacolod City: The Philippines had brothers Phil and James Younghusband to thank for securing a 2-2 draw with Yemen in Group F of AFC Asian Cup qualifying on Tuesday evening as the duo both scored to secure the home side a point.
Phil netted with a stunning free-kick in the 30th minute to level the scores after Mudir Al Radaei’s diving effort three minutes earlier while James’ header 19 minutes from time cancelled out Abdulwasea Al Matari’s 55th minute strike.
The draw means the Philippines remain in pole position in the group, with Thomas Dooley’s team moving on to seven points, two more than Yemen with the teams due to meet again in Qatar next month.
Al Radaei gave the visitors the lead in the 27th minute when he dived to redirect the ball over the line despite the attentions of Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge.
But just three minutes later, Phil pulled his side level with a perfect free-kick as the midfielder wrapped his right foot around the ball to send it into the top corner.
Al Radaei was forced into action in front of his own goal in the dying minutes of the half when he cleared the ball off the line as the Philippines ended the opening period on the front foot.
Ten minutes after the break, however, Yemen reclaimed the lead with a text book counter-attacking goal.
Ahmed Al Sarori fed the ball up the line to Ahmed Nabil Hazaea and he cut the ball inside to Al Matari, who rounded the goalkeeper before slotting the ball into the empty net.
The home side upped the pressure, with Iain Ramsey seeing his goal-bound shot pushed away by goalkeeper Mohammed Ebrahim Ali Ayash while Mike Ott's shot was just wide moments later.
Dooley’s team levelled the scores in the 71st minute when James outjumped the Yemen defence to nod Manuel Ott’s inswinging free-kick home to seal a deserved point for the Philippines.