Azkals to face former rivals in Group B of Challenge Cup


Posted at Feb 13 2014 02:02 AM | Updated as of Feb 13 2014 05:20 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Azkals were grouped with their formal rivals during the draw for the coming 2014 AFC Challenge Cup.

The Filipino squad will be playing against Afghanistan, Laos and Turkmenistan in Group B of the competition.

The Azkals last met the 133rd ranked Turkmenistan during the qualification stage of the Cup in 2013, while they battled the 138 ranked Afghanistan in 2006. The Filipinos beat Turkmenistan 1-0, and drew with Afghanistan, 1-1.

The Azkals, meanwhile, figured in a tumultuous match against 153rd-ranked Laos in 2012, and yielded a controversial 2-1 loss. But due to the controversial nature of the defeat, it was deemed invalid by FIFA.

The Philippines now enjoys the highest ranking in the group at No. 127.

Meanwhile, Maldives (No. 34), Kyrgyzstan (No. 26), Myanmar (No. 18), and Palestine (No. 24), will compete in Group A.

The AFC Challenge Cup will be held in Maldives on May 19-30 and will be aired by ABS-CBN Sports. The winner will earn a berth in 2015 AFC Asian Cup.