Friday, March 25, 2011

Azkals hope to needed 3 points vs Palestine

Azkals hope to needed 3 points vs Palestine - Denied at the last minute the last time out, the Philippine Azkals resume their bid to earn a much-needed win worth three points when they face Palestine on Wednesday in the AFC Challenge Cup Group Round at the Thuwana Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

The Azkals were held to a 1-1 draw by Myanmar (No. 161 in the FIFA world rankings) on Monday, with the visitors allowing the hosts' Khin Maung Lwin to tie the match with a late injury-time goal.

Khin scored on a free kick off a foul by Simon Greatwich in the 92nd minute.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said President Noyony Aquino is monitoring the games, and congratulated the Azkals despite the draw against Myanmar.

"It goes to show that every minute in football counts. Hindi naman nadismaya (si Presidente sa draw)," said Valte in an interview.

"(The President) still supports the Azkals kahit po ano ang mangyari, we support our own. Siyempre proud of our Filipino players," she added.

The Azkals will be facing a Palestine side which is 20 places lower in the FIFA World rankings at 171, but which is fresh from a 2-0 trouncing of Bangladesh in the other match on Monday to lead Group A with three points.

Azkals manager Dan Palami said, in an earlier team meeting, that playing in the group stage of the AFC Challenge Cup will determine whether the Azkals will have another tournament to play in next year.

Palami, who was chosen by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) as the 2010 Executive of the Year, added that the matches will also serve as a gauge of whether the team is ready for the World Cup qualifiers in July this year.

The Azkals close out their group stage matches against 174th-place Bangladesh on Friday, March 25.


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