DRAW IN MANILA AS THREE SEE RED

MANILA (6 June 2012) – The battle might have ended in a 2-2 draw but the game between the Philippines and Indonesia at the Rizal Memorial Stadium last night in Manila was marred by three red cards being shown in the last ten minutes of a fiercely contested affair.

With the score at 2-1 to the advantage of Indonesia, a scuffle broke out and referee Kuo Jung Fan from Taiwan did not hesitate to show the red card on Philippines’ Manny Ott and Chieffy Caligdong as well as Indonesian captain Irfan Bachdim.

Following a first half deadlock, it was the visitors who grabbed the lead in the 59th minute when Patrick Wanggai headed in the cross from Oktovianus Maniani. But James Younghusband, who did not play in the team’s 1-1 draw against ASEAN champions Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur last week, found the equalizer barely a minute later when he intercepted a lazy pass from Satrio Syam to slot the ball home with only the keeper to beat.

But Indonesia were quick to restore their lead on 63rd minute when Irfan Bachdim pounced on a loose ball to score between Neil Etheridge’s legs.

After the red card on the three players in the 80th minute, the ensuing free kick from Dennis Cigara saw Phil Younghusband unleashing a superb volley for the equaliser.

The next friendly for the Philippines in the run-up to the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012 will be against Guam that will be played in Bacolod City in a week.