AFC Cup: Mike Ott strike salvages draw for Azkals against Yemen
The Philippine Azkals are still atop the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup qualifiers Group F thanks to the late game heroics of Mike Ott.
The Azkals salvaged a 1-1 stalemate against Yemen on Wednesday at the Saoud bin Abdulrahman Stadium in Doha, Qatar.
After being held to a draw in Bacolod last September, the Filipinos were eager to secure all three points this time around.
The Azkals were toothless on offense for most of the match, with Yemen netting the first goal to get on the scoreboard in the second half.
It took Yemen 63 minutes, but Tawfik Ali was able to open the scoring by taking advantage of the Philippines’ inability to handle a corner kick.
With time running out for the Azkals, Thailand-based midfielder Mike Ott combined with Paul Mulders to draw level at the 89th minute mark of the contest.
The Philippines and Yemen each had set piece opportunities at injury time, but neither nation could net a decisive goal.
The result means that the Azkals improved to eight points in Group F, two points ahead of rivals Tajikistan and Yemen.
Tajikistan and Yemen take the second and third place spots, respectively, due to goal difference.
Despite not claiming all three points against Yemen, the Philippines still remain in contention to book a spot in the final round of the AFC Cup in the UAE in 2019.
A victory in the Azkals next assignment, which will be against Nepal in Kathmandu on November 14, will ensure that they move on to the next round with a game in hand.
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