Players from the Philippines celebrate after scoring a goal against Cambodia during the men's first round football match at the SEA Games 2019 in Manila, the Philippines, Nov. 25, 2019. (Xinhua/Rouelle Umali)
MANILA, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- Dennis Chung's stoppage-time equalizer helped the Philippines U-22 men's football team to a 1-1 draw against Cambodia on the first matchday of the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games football tournament here on Monday.
At the clash held at Rizal Memorial Football Stadium, the hosts, led by national team captain Stephan Schrock, missed a host of chances in the first half, while the visitors' Koe Sokpheng netted the opening goal from inside the area on 41 minutes.
Substitute Chung emerged as the country's hero in the 94th minute, scoring the equalizer from Schrock's assist, sparing the country's blushes.
The Philippines, dubbed the Azkals, has never medaled in the SEA Games, with their best finish being fourth place in 1991 on home soil in Manila.
On the same day, 2017 SEA Games silver medalist Malaysia drew 1-1 with Myanmar in Group A, while Vietnam scored a landslide 6-0 victory over Brunei in Group B.
Timor-Leste, which drew a bye in the first matchday window, is also in Group A.
Group B is composed of Brunei, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore, Vietnam and three-time defending champions Thailand.
The champion and runner-up in each group will qualify for the semifinals.
Rules permit all the 11 competing teams to field two players older than 22.
The opening ceremony of the biennial SEA Games will be held on Sunday, November 30.
Over 10,000 athletes will see action in 56 sports and over 540 events spread across 39 venues on the country's main Luzon island.