By: Cedelf P. Tupas
The Philippine Azkals left for the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu early Wednesday with the goal of qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup for the first time when the continental showpiece event is played in the United Arab Emirates in 2019.
Held to back-to-back draws by Yemen in the last two qualifying matches, the Azkals hope to finally nail the Asian Cup berth with a win over Nepal on Nov. 14 at ANFA Stadium in Kathmandu.
“This will be as good as any chance for us to qualify,” Azkals skipper Phil Younghusband told the Inquirer. “We were so close in 2014 and for some of the players, it was one of their biggest disappointments. But now we have another chance.”
The Azkals will be returning to a country where it has already achieved success, having reached the semifinals of the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time in 2012 in the Nepalese capital.