Philippines U23 had to chase for scores to get a 2-2 draw against Timor Leste U23 in the opening match of AFF U23 Championship 2022 Group stage round Group A at Morodok Techo national stadium, Phnom Penh.
It was a brisk start to the game as the opener was scored by Timor Leste in the seventh minute of the match by Mouzinho De Lima. Elias Mesquita was fouled inside the box by Jaime Rosquilo and the referee had no choice but to point towards the spot. De Lima kept his composure, sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, and calmly slotted the ball into the right bottom corner of the goal to give his side the lead.
After getting an early goal Timor Leste started to show more confidence on the ball. Mesquita continued to be in the thick of things and was testing opposition keeper Quincy Kammeraad frequently with his attempts towards goal. However, after the half-hour mark, Philipines started to get a foothold in the match with coach Stewart Hall urging his players to press higher up the pitch. Jacob Maniti and Ivan Ouano also started to play in tandem and were combining pretty well in the attacking third.
Just before the first half came to an end, their efforts were rewarded. Timor Leste’s centre back Filomeno Da Costa made a mispass while playing out from the back and Maniti pounced on the error. He set up Ouano on a platter and the forward skipped past the challenge of Da Costa to score with a left-footed strike.
Action resumed on an even keel after the break as both sides went with hammers and tongs at each other to get their nose ahead. However, it was Timor Lester who got to restore their lead in the 55th minute riding on a brilliant strike by Jaimito Soares. The 18-year-old brought down a long ball from midfield with a deft first touch and then skillfully made his way through three white shirts before unleashing a perfectly placed shot into the bottom corner to finish off the move.
Timor Leste could have even got their insurance goal on the hour-mark if Mouzinho’s pile driver from outside the box had not crashed against the crossbar before going out of play. But Hall’s men soon found the equaliser in the 62nd minute from a set-piece. Keeper Junildo Pereira could not make a clean save while collecting the ball from the corner and Ouano made him pay by pushing the ball into the net from handshaking distance of goal.
After erasing the deficit, Philippines rode on their momentum and kept piling pressure on Timor Leste’s backline in search of a winner. The Young Azkals came close on a few occasions but Pereira stood tall under the sticks to deny them a winner.
Credit Photo : Kem Sovanna
Source : Goal