The Philippine Azkals will now get ready for the next stage of their campaign.
Azkals coach Scott Cooper said this following the end of their joint 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
The national men’s football team got challenged and played to a 1-all draw with Maldives on Tuesday (early Wednesday morning, Manila time) at the Sharjah Stadium in Sharjah, UAE.
This allowed the Philippines to finish Group A in third place with their 3-2-3 win-draw-loss record.
“We wanted to push the national team up. This game will provide proof that they can buy into that, something that can help the team move up,” said Azkals coach Scott Cooper.
The Philippines is now in the third round of the 2023 Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup qualifiers with Jordan, which made it to third place in Group B.
Bahrain and Palestine are also in the mix with India, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia and Turkmenistan.
Second placer China finished its bid in Group A with a 3-1 win over top-finishing team Syria.
During their game, Angel Guirado scored his10th goal for the Azkals with a volleyed strike past Maldives goalie Mohamed Faisal in the 19th minute.
Six minutes later, Maldivian forward Ali Fasir struck back when he escaped from the Philippine backline.