Azkals vow to come out stronger in do-or-die match vs Tajikistan-A A +A
Monday, March 12, 2012
NEARLY two weeks since coming over to Nepal for the 2012 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup, the men's national team Azkals will not pack their bags yet without giving former titlists Tajikistan a tough fight on Tuesday.
Azkals' German mentor Michael Weiss banked on this optimism Sunday night as his wards booted out 2008 champion and South Asian powerhouse India via a 2-0 shutout at the Dasrath Stadium.
"We had a good half-time talk and played much better in the second half but my team can play better than they did today (Sunday)," Weiss said, who also turned 52 on that same day.
Both squads will dispute the remaining slot for the semifinals after North Korea qualified for the penultimate round, thanks to its clean slate (2-0-0) in Group B. The defending champions thumped 2006 champion Tajikistan and the Philippines last week, coincidentally, through a 2-0 score.
Lead striker Phil Younghusband shone the brightest for the Philippines in the game against India, where he scored goals in the 10th and 73rdminute.
India's hopes to barge into the semifinals ended sooner, so as host Nepal, which absorbed back-to-back defeats in the hands of Group A members Palestine and Maldives.
The Nepalese, who also lost to the Filipinos in a friendly match last October in Manila, capped their campaign today against group leader Turkmenistan. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)