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Azkals, Indonesia battle to 1-1 draw

MANILA, Philippines -- Indonesia's Saddil Ramdani played the villain for the Philippine Azkals as his late goal forced a 1-1 draw in their FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers match Tuesday night at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

The draw gave the two teams their first point in Group F play, but both the Philippines and Indonesia are still winless in the qualifiers.

Playing before 9,880 fans, the Azkals started the game aggressively, attempting numerous goals.

The first goal finally came in the 23rd minute courtesy of Patrick Reichelt.

The Filipinos tried to get another point, but they failed their chances.

With the Philippines leading, 1-0, Ramdani secured the goal in the 70th and tied the game up.

The Azkals then tried to push the tempo and get a winning goal. But it never came.

Santiago Rublico tried to win it for the Azkals in the 90th minute, but his shot was just too high. His attempt was deflected and the ball hit the crossbar.

During extra time, Daisuke Sato attempted a goal from way beyond, but it missed badly.

The Filipinos came off a 0-2 defeat against Vietnam last Thursday.

Azkals head coach Michael Weiss said that the team has to be “more brutal and ruthless.”

“We should have at least four points, and we have one. But that’s football. We don’t always get what we want,” Weiss said.

“We take it as it is, this is the situation, this is the level of Philippine football at this moment. There’s some things that we need to discuss and there are some things that we cannot close our eyes to, like the physical deficit,” he added.

The next game for the Azkals will be next year.

They will play Iraq in March.