The Philippines relied on the late-game heroics of substitute Dennis Chung to secure a 1-1 draw against Cambodia in their opening match of the 2019 SEA Games men's football tournament at the Rizal Memorial Stadium on Monday night.
The Philippines and Cambodia opened their opening match of the biennial meet tentatively, with neither side establishing much of a rhythm.
The Filipinos grew more comfortable as the first half went on, with Dylan De Bruycker and Chima Uzoka missing guilt-edged chances for the hosts. Against the run of play Cambodia caught a break with Chiheng Meng combining with Keo Sokpheng to net the opener.
Sokpheng's strike deflected off Philippine defender Amani Aguinaldo and trickled into an empty net in the 41st minute.
The second half saw the Philippines up the attacking pressure on the visitors, but could not manage to create dangerous chances on target. For Cambodia, most of their chances came from attacks on the break and put the Philippine defense on notice.
Despite the Filipinos taking the lion's share of shots on target, the Cambodian backline held firm. But the game turned on its head deep in injury time.
With defeat looming, captain Stephan Schrock took on a pair of Cambodian defenders before laying the ball off to Yrick Gallantes. Gallantes' touch proved to be too heavy, but perfectly set up substitute Dennis Chung for the equalizer.
Chung drilled a shot into the bottom left corner to ensure that the Philippines and Cambodia share the spoils in their opening game.
The 1-1 result is the second draw in Group A of the men's football tournament, meaning that Myanmar, Malaysia, Cambodia, and the Philippines enter the second match day level at one point apiece.
The Philippines will look to achieve a better result when they tackle Myanmar on Wednesday at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium.