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Cooper opens reign with draw


By Jonas Terrado

The Philippine Azkals were held to a 1-all draw by Bahrain in a friendly match that marked the start of Scott Cooper’s reign as coach Thursday at the National Stadium in Bahrain.

The Azkals, who took the lead on Phil Younghusband’s 49th-minute goal, came close to securing the win when Sayed Adnan Hussein struck a last-gasp equalizer for Bahrain.

Cooper settled for a draw in his first match since being appointed coach following Terry Butcher’s sudden decision from withdrawing the role handed to him last June.

Stephan Schrock made his national team return after a lengthy absence due to his feud with then-Azkals mentor Thomas Dooley while Neil Etheridge also saw action after three English Premier League appearances for Cardiff City.

Thursday’s friendly was part of a week-long camp by the Azkals in their buildup for the AFF Suzuki Cup and the Asian Cup.

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