Azkals fight for Asian Cup survival against Kyrgyzstan

ABS-CBN Sports on Jan 16, 2019 10:15 AM
Azkals fight for Asian Cup survival against Kyrgyzstan
(Photo courtesy of the-afc.com)

All is not lost for the Philippine Men's National Football Team following back-to-back losses in their historic first-ever Asian Cup campaign. 

The Azkals started the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with a spiritied effort but ultimately fell short, losing 0-1 against tournament favorites South Korea. 

Hoping to bring the same energy and momentum, the Azkals faced off against China PR, and again kept it tight in the early moments. Striker Wu Lei had other plans however, as he unloaded two world-class strikes to score a brace and help China PR defeat the Azkals, 3-0. 

Now down to one final match in the group stage of the Asian Cup, the Filipino side find their backs against the wall and will need to muster a victory against also-winless Kyrgyzstan on Wednesday at the Rashid Stadium in Dubai, if they want to keep their campaign alive. 

Currently, the Azkals sit at the bottom of Group C with two losses in as many matches. Ahead of them on goal difference is Kyrgyzstan, who have managed to convert in the tournament. 

A win for the Azkals secures a third-place finish in Group C, but external factors will have to come into play for them to advance into the knockout stage. 

Only the top-four third-place teams will advance in to the next round, and already, three of those four spots have been booked, with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Thailand securing their spots. 

If the Azkals win, they will need to hope for a couple of scenarios to play out, as explained by The Philippine Football Federation: 

Kickoff time will be at 9:30 PM, Manila time. 

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