Azkals AFC Challenge Cup 2012 Highlight updates Video

National football coach Michael Weiss said their victory over 2006 Challenge Cup champion Tajikistan showed the Philippine Azkals’ development as a team.

"We have entered a higher level. Our opponents are much stronger than anyone we play in the region. This has been based on hard work and commitment,” Weiss told following their 2-1 win over Tajikistan.

In the process, the Filipino squad won a ticket to the tournament semifinals.

Their win over the Persian Lions was the second time the Azkals defeated a former Challenge Cup champion.

The Philippines handed 2008 champion India a 2-0 beating last Sunday.

Tajikistan was favored to beat the Philippines based on the former’s ranking in the FIFA world list.

The Persian Lions are ranked No. 145 by FIFA, while the Azkals are 156th.

“We have actually been making history throughout the tournament but that is not comparable to today," said Weiss.

The Filipinos opened their Challenge Cup campaign with a 2-0 loss to defending champion North Korea.

The Azkals were able to make a gallant stand in that game by holding the Koreans to a scoreless draw in the first half.

They now set their sights on semifinal opponent Turkmenistan.

"We are excited about the semi-final but we will be cool about it at the same time. This is how we are,” said Weiss.


AFC Challenge Cup 2012

(March16) Live on Studio 23, kick-off 4:45PM
Semis1: North Korea (111) vs. Palestine (160)
Semis2: Philippines (156) vs. Turkmenistan (166)

FINALS: (March19)
Semis1 Winner vs. Semis2 Winner

note: The 2012 AFC Challenge Cup Champion will get an automatic berth to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup (16 Teams) in Australia. (Qualified teams: Japan, South Korea, Australia) 

Azkals Highlights