SEA Games 2019: Philippines Men’s Football team survives Cambodia with a late-game goal

MANILA, Philippines – Late-game hero Dennis Chung’s game equalizer against Cambodia maintained Philippines’ chance to advance to the next round on November 25, 2019 at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.

Despite the misfortunes that happened to the Philippine sports community, the Men’s National Football Team remained composed and focused as they faced a familiar regional rival, team Cambodia in the 2019 SEA Games Football opener.

Stephan Schrock-led Philippine Team draws Cambodia in SEA Games Football opener.
Stephan Schrock-led Philippine Team draws Cambodia in SEA Games Football opener. Photo Credit: Tiebreaker Times

With a huge home court advantage, the Filipino booters relied on the chants of the local crowd to make clear and open offensive opportunities right from the start of the kick off. The Nationals however were not able to convert those chances into digits.

The Philippines had a big advantage over Cambodia in terms of ball possession in the entire half.

Led by Azkals veteran Stephan Schrock, the Philippine squad garnered a bunch of golden opportunities but missed the shots even though they were all on target.

Just a few minutes before the half ended, exactly at the 40th mark, Cambodia’s Keo Sokpheng made it 1-0 and put a big pressure on the Philippines.

The officials added 2 more minutes on the clock and the Pinoy footballers had few chances to tie the ball game but failed to do so as the halftime whistle was blown.

Philippines continued to push the ball hard but still couldn't make a goal to level the score at the beginning of the 2nd half.

Filipino booters were getting plenty of good chances but the Cambodian defense was really tough and tight especially inside the box. Not to forget Cambodia’s goal keeper as he played the unsung hero for his team in saving a barrage of shots.

With 5 minutes remaining in the game, Team Philippines were cramming to equalize the score at least to boost its chance to qualify for the next round.

A ray of hope for the Philippines as the officials added 5 more minutes to the match.

Late substitute, Dennis Chung finally put Philippines on the scoreboard to tie the game at the 93rd minute.

Couple of minutes after the Philippines' late goal, the referee blew the final whistle to wrap the nerve-wracking game.

Top 2 teams in each division will advance to the next round and Philippines is still is on track to move on after the draw with Cambodia.

— Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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