By ESPNSTAR.com staff
In an encounter at the Shah Alam Stadium that was devoid of many clear-cut chances, it was the Azkals who created the better openings despite missing the influential trio of Neil Etheridge, James Younghusband and Phil Younghusband.
On the other hand, the Harimau strike duo of Safee Sali and Norshahrul Idlan Talaha were looking slightly jaded up front and failed to carve open too many opportunities for themselves. Even when they did, they failed to really test Roland Muller, who was deputising for the suspended Etheridge in goal.
"Overall it was a great result, we got a taste of playing the AFF Suzuki Cup champions on their own ground and we will know what it will be like in six months," Philippines coach Michael Weiss told reports after the game.
"In the second half, Malaysia put more pressure on us and we got a bit lucky at the end and our keeper made fine saves," he added.
The Philippines started brightly and almost went ahead when Hoffenheim midfielder Stephan Schrock pounced on a horrible backpass by Azmi Muslim and looked set to round Farizal Marlias, although the Negri Sembilan custodian recovered in time to deal with the danger.
With Angel Guirado and Juan Luis Guirado providing plenty of bite in the visitors' engine room, K. Rajagopal's men were hardly given any time to settle on the ball and in the 32nd minute, Philippines went close again when Denis Wolf nodded a header just wide.
A minute later, the 29-year-old had another golden opportunity when he raced past the Malaysia backline, only to send a fierce left-footed shot past Farizal's post.
The performance of Negeri Sembilan winger S. Kunalan was one of the few things the 15,212 fans had to cheer about as he put in a terrific shift and regularly tormented the opposition full-backs.
While it was a far-from-impressive performance from Malaysia, especially ahead of their upcoming two-legged friendly tie against arch-rivals Singapore, Rajagopal will undoubtedly be pleased with some of his fringe players.
In particular, forward Shahurain Abu Samah looked very lively and came closest to scoring for the hosts when he stole the ball from Schrock in the middle of the park and raced into the Philippines area before firing a shot that came smashing back off the woodwork.