Mike Ott and the Azkals could not find the net as honors were shared for the fifth time against Malaysia.
By Kevin Estrada
Ninety minutes of enterprising football could not separate both the Azkals and the Harimau Malaysia in their new chapter in the battle between canines and felines, with honors shared in another goalless draw, the fourth consecutive of this kind and fifth straight overall dating back from 2012.
Playing in their first match of the year, three months since their dismal Suzuki Cup campaign, both teams have their share of their chances in the first half, but it was the Azkals who were the more aggressive side with more shots that went on target.
Philippines skipper Phil Younghusband could have given the home side the lead in the 20th minute with his right-footed effort forcing a save from Khairulazhan Khalid.
Malaysia also had their shot on getting on the board first, resorting to their speedy wingers and using Safee Sali as their lone target man, but they ended up empty-handed, adding to the fact that they have a penalty appeal on Amri Yahyah denied by Steve Supresencia.
The same has to be said in the second half but the game flowed more freely, with the introduction of the substitutes for both sides injected much needed energy.
However, the fate of the draw was sealed at the death, as Fitch Arboleda had shot the ball wide to the left, making sure that the result will still be the same for the fifth match running.