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Azkals held by late Bahrain strike in Cooper's managerial debut

Phil Younghusband now has 51 goals but the Azkals have yet to end their jinx at Bahrain. Dennis Jerome Acosta/Dugout Philippines (file)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--The Philippines have endured the heat of the Middle East as they let their cherished lead slip through their grasp, forcing them to share the spoils with Bahrain with a 1-1 draw in Riffa, Thursday evening (early Friday morning Manila time).

OI his managerial debut, Scott Cooper will have to wait until October to get his first win after seeing their second half lead being canceled out with the final kick of the match.

Both sides had their chances squandered by bad ball control in which they came close inside the box in the opening half as they enter the break goalless.

Amani Aguinaldo had to be replaced in the 36th minute by Paul Mulders in what could have been a perplexed change as the nagging knee injuries took a toll on the lone pure centre-half in the squad by Scott Cooper.

Quickly into the restart, the Azkals got first on the board when Phil Younghusband got his number 51 with a spot kick that was tucked in to his favorite left corner, the third straight instance of his penalties this year.

The hosts have tried to get back into the game but had their shots being charged down by the back-line now led by Carli De Murga and Daisuke Sato with Angel Guirado making his return to the fold.

But Bahrain knocked in the equalizer right at the seventh and final added minute to split the points in a dramatic fashion, thanks to Sayed Adnan Hussein who made no mistake on the rebound after their high pressing play left the Azkals on skates in defence.

Philippines: Etheridge (GK), Mike Ott (Muñoz 90+2'), Woodland, Manny Ott, Phil YH (C) (Dizon 90'), Sato, Aguinaldo (Mulders 36'), Carli, Schrock, Reichelt (Angel 70'), Amin Nazari (Reed 73')

Follow him on Twitter: @KevinLEstrada