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Azkals Advances in the AFC Challenge Cup 2014

The Philippine Azkals advances to the AFC Challenge Cup 2014 after their 1-0 win over the Turkmenistan Green Men on the qualifying round at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.


The country’s national football team finishes on top under group E, with Cambodia, Brunei and Turkmenistan on the line-up with 9 points and 9 goals.


Turkmenistan ended up second with 6 points, 7 goals, Cambodia placed third with 3 points, while Brunei withdrew from the competition.


At the 67th minute of the game, Fil-British striker Phil Younghusband was able to score the lone goal after the defense of Turkmenistan collapsed.


Younghusband’s game ended early when he was sent off with five minutes remaining for a second yellow card for pulling back a Turkmenistan defender which also gave him a one-game suspension on the next Azkals’ match in the tournament.


The other team members delivered well against the Green Men of the rival country.


The starting line-up for this game comprises of: Roland Muller for the goal keeper; Carlie de Murga, Rob Gier, Juani Guirado and Dennis Cagara as the defenders; Stephan Schrock, Jerry Lucena, Chris Greatwich, and Angel Guirado as the midfielders; and, Javier Patino and Phil Younghusband as the forwards.


Team’s head coach Hans Michael Weiss was happy with the win and said that it was a hard-fought victory.


For Weiss and the rest of the Azkals, Turkmenistan was the team to beat, which they successfully achieved.


The victory gave Azkals the opportunity to avenge their 1-2 heartbreaking loss to Turkmenistan in the 2012 Challenge Cup semis.


The Philippines’ contender will join Myanmar, Afghanistan, Palestine and Kyrgyzstan who topped Groups A, B, C, and D respectively, in the said football competition in Maldives next year.


Corabelle is the Bayanihan's Phillippine News Correspondent.