Philippine Azkals begin historic AFC Asian Cup campaign against South Korea
ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 07, 2019 10:15 AM
Phil Younghusband and the Philippine Azkals kick off their 2019 AFC Asian Cup campaign against powerhouse South Korea
The Philippine Men's National Football is set to make Filipino football history come Monday, January 7th, when they play their first ever AFC Asian Cup match in the 2019 edition of the tournament, which is being held in the United Arab Emirates.
Immediately, the Azkals get a tough assignment as they open the group stage against Asian football power house South Korea in an early Group D matchup at the Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai.
The highest-ranked squad in Group D at 53rd in the world, South Korea looks to make another deep run in the prestigious quadrennial tournament, following their runner-up finish back in 2015.
More than just qualifying for the tournament for the first time ever, the Azkals, the lowest ranked in the group, are now out to prove that the Philippines belongs at the upper level of Asian football, and a win over South Korea would be a massive step in that direction.
Led by team captain and leading scorer Phil Younghusband and new head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson, the Pinoy side set their sights on snatching their first win in AFC Asian Cup history.
South Korea on the other hand, will be banking on the talents of Ki Sung-yeung, who plays for Newcastle United, Hwang Ui-jo of Gamba Osaka, and Son Heung-ming, who is still with Tottenham, but will be with the team for their final group stage match.
The Azkals and South Korea kick off at 9:30 PM, Manila time.