The road to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup begins for the Philippine Azkals

ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 28, 2017 12:37 PM
The road to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup begins for the Azkals
Manny Ott and Phil Younghusband hope to be able to lead the Azkals to a strong start in the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers

The road to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates begins Tuesday night for the Philippine Azkals, as they open their Asian Cup Qualifiers campaign against Nepal at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. 

Following yet another draw against Malaysia less than a week earlier, the Philippine men's senior national team are back in the country's colors once again, and this time they hope to be able to start the qualifiers on a strong note. 

Bannered by the likes of team captain Phil Younghusband, Manny Ott, Amani Aguinaldo, and keeper Neil Etheridge, history will be on the minds of the the Pinoy side as they try to become the first Pinoy team to break into the AFC Asian Cup in the tournament's history. 

The Philippines will play in Group F, alongside Tajikistan, Yemen, and their first challenge of the tournament, Nepal. 

In the four matches between the two squads, the Azkals have been dominant, winning their last three matches. Their lone loss to the Nepalese national team came way back in the 1982 Kings Cup tournament. Since then, the Pinoy side has managed to shut Nepal out, winning 4-0 in an international friendly in 2011, and then going 3-0 twice in a couple of 2014 friendlies. 

While history may be on the side of the Azkals, the Nepalese squad shouldn't be taken lightly, as they've gone unbeaten since 2015, and are currently on a four-match winning streak. 

The Azkals and Nepal kick off at 8:00 PM. 

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