MANILA – The Philippine Azkals have set up a semi-finals date against host country Maldives in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup after last night’s famous victory over Turkmenistan.
Second half goals from Phil Younghusband and Patrick Reichelt powered the Philippines to the top of Group B and into the semi-finals.
In Group A, host Maldives placed second to Palestine with four points, and will thus face off against the Azkals in the cross-over semi-finals on Tuesday.
Azkals head coach Thomas Dooley acknowledged that the semi-final will be very difficult for the Philippines as they will be playing against the home team.
"You know, if you want to win the tournament, then you have to beat everybody," Dooley said, as quoted by maldivesoccer.com.
"We know that the semi-final match will be a very difficult game for us, because (it's their) home ground, and you know, (they are) a great team," he added.
But the Azkals' display against Turkmenistan gives Dooley the confidence that his players can do the job.
"If we (played like we) did today, we can do what we want," he asserted.
Younghusband scored off a free kick at the 49th minute – his 35th goal for the Philippines – to put the Azkals ahead, and Reichelt then secured the victory at the 74th minute when he acrobatically converted a cross from Martin Steuble.
The game on Tuesday will be held at the National Stadium in Male. It will be preceded by the other semi-final match between Palestine and Afghanistan, the second-placer in Group B.