Phil Younghusband's first Azkals goal in two years couldn't have come at a better time
Phil Younghusband ended a two-year goal drought with the Azkals. Jaime Campos

BOCAUE - Phil Younghusband’s first goal in two years was a little bit bittersweet for him,  but the veteran wants to look at the positive side after the Philippine Azkals remained in position to advance into the next phase of the AFF Suzuki Cup.

Younghusband scored a goal on a sublime free-kick in the 82nd minute as the Azkals salvaged a 2-2 draw against Indonesia on Tuesday night at the Philippine Sports Stadium, gaining a crucial point that kept them in the hunt for a semifinal berth.

A player with 43 international goals to his name, Younghusband scored for the Azkals for the first time since he making a penalty kick against Indonesia in the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.

But Younghusband said he would have been happier if the Azkals had won.

“It’s good to get back on the score sheet especially since it’s a free kick. But it’s still disappointing that we can’t get the win, but we live to fight another day,” Younghusband said.

“It’s a disappointing result but we are still in it. We still have a chance of qualifying,” the 29-year-old added.

[See Azkals salvage draw with Indonesia to keep hopes alive]

Indonesia broke the ice early when Stefano Lilipanyin scored the seventh minute before Misagh Bahadoran tied it in the 31st with a finish off a Stephen Schrock feed.

Indonesia captain Boas Theofilus Erwin Salossa put Indonesia ahead once more in the 68th minute after scoring on a rebounds off Andik Wermansah shot that hit the post, before Younghusband tied the match.

“We showed that we can come back twice but we don’t have to be in that position in the first place,” said Younghusband.

That draw, however, put the national squad in a precarious position in second place with two points but Singapore and Indonesia are right in their tail ahead of their match-up.

On Friday, the Azkals must win against a Thailand team that they have never beaten in the 20-year history of the tournament to assure safe passage to the next phase.

Younghusband is staying confident.

“We live to fight another day. It’s important that we stay optimistic,” said Younghusband.

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