Honours even once more between Philippines, Malaysia

There was no separating Philippines and Malaysia for the second match running as they played out a 0-0 draw in an international friendly at the Cebu City Sports Complex.

Both sides had previously met on March 1 at the Majlis Perbandaran Selayang Stadium; a match that marked the first time both Malaysia caretaker coach Ong Kim Swee and Philippines boss Thomas Dooley took charge of their respective sides.

On Sunday, it was the Azkals who started the brighter of the two sides but the first real chance fell the Malaysia’s way after Norfarhan Muhammad set up Amri Yahyah, only for his goal-bound effort to be well saved by Patrick Deyto.

But in the 14th minute, Philippines came excruciatingly close to opening the scoring when Simone Rota met a corner at the near post with a glancing header, only to see it come back off the woodwork.

Malaysia gradually worked their way in the contest but were unable to carve out a real scoring opportunity and it was the hosts who came close again two minutes before the break; OJ Porteria curling a long-range effort that sailed just over the bar.

The woodwork came to Harimau Malaya’s rescue once more in the 77th minute when substitute Nate Burkey was denied by the bar and right at the death, they were handed the perfect opportunity to grab the winner after being awarded a debatable penalty for handball on Anton Del Rosario.

But it was not to be for Malaysia as Patrick Deyto produced a stunning save to keep out Safee Sali’s effort, ensuring his side did not fall to their second defeat under Dooley.

Philippines: Patrick Deyto, Simone Rota (Carli de Murga 67’), Anton Del Rosario, Jerry Lucena, Daisuke Sato, James Younghusband (Curt Dizon 62’), Jason De Jong (Chris Greatwich 57’), Martin Steuble, OJ Porteria (Nate Burkey 70’), Patrick Reichelt (Jovin Bedic 78’), Ruben Doctora (Kenshiro Daniels 88’).

Malaysia: Khairul Fahmi, Bunyamin Umar (Mahalli Jasuli 68’), Aidil Zafuan, Fadhli Shas, Zubir Azmi, Azamuddin Akil (S. Kunanlan 58’), Junior Eldstal, Hafiz Kamal (Badhri Radzi 75’), Baddrol Bakhtiar, Norfarhan Muhammad (Bobby Gonzales 87’), Amri Yahyah (Safee Sali 87’).

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