Azkals Advance to AFC Challenge Cup Semi-Finals!

I’m so happy for the boys that they made it to the semi-finals of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup beating out their Team B members in the qualifiers after back to back wins vs India last Sunday and just this afternoon vs Tajikistan.

This week starting March 9, the Philippine Azkals flew to Nepal to play some hard football. Their first game was vs Asian super powers North Korea, and after a scoreless first half, NKor fought back and scores 2 goals in quick succession, leaving us nervous with a final score of PHI 0 – 2 NKor.

But we fought hard versus India, with striker Phil Younghusband scoring at the 10th and 73rd minute of the game.

And finally we sealed the deal over a win versus Tajikistan, after a first half scare, with Tajikistan leading 1-0. But the boys hit back hard in the second half, a surprise even coming from me as usually the boys lose steam at this part of the game, with Phil Younghusband scoring at the 53rd minute, and Angel Guirado scoring the second cruicial at the 80th minute of the game, advancing the team into the semi-finals.

I am so proud of our team and how well they played!

Watch out for them as they enter the semi-finals versus Turkmenistan on Friday. However, they will have to play the match minus 2 key players – Angel Guirado and James Younghusband, powerful midfielders – who incurred their second yellow cards during the India match.

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