The Philippine Azkals conceded a second half goal to settle for a 1-1 tie with Indonesia after a heartstopping World Cup/Asian Cup Qualifiers match on Tuesday at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Hopes of getting a win in front of 9,880 fans disappeared when the Azkals allowed Saddil Ramdani to score the equalizing goal for the visitors, thus forcing both squads to share the spoils after the second matchday of the Asian Qualifiers.
Patrick Reichelt struck the opener for the Azkals in the 23rd minute, and it appeared that it would be enough to secure the previous three points after opening the qualifying window with a 2-0 loss to Vietnam.
Coach Michael Weiss’ squad tried to atone for Ramdani’s equalizer, with Reichelt almost getting a clear attempt to score a second goal and Santi Rublico firing a shot that hit the crossbar.
Rublico and the Azkals defense also denied Indonesia the opportunity to steal a win during the tense final minutes.
Both teams have a point each after the first window of the Asian Qualifiers, with the Azkals ahead of Indonesia for third in Group F on goal difference.
Indonesia lost 5-1 to Iraq in its first match of the qualification in Basra.
Iraq and Vietnam were scheduled to play as of posting time, the result likely to diminish any hopes of the Azkals to sneak a top two finish and advance to the third round of the World Cup Qualifiers.
Reichelt’s one-touch attempt beat Indonesian keeper Ernando Arti Sutaryadi to make it 15 goals for the veteran attacker in an Azkals shirt.