THE Philippines battled to a scoreless draw with Nepal to stall its march yesterday in the AFC Asian
Cup qualifiers at the ANFA Complex in Kathmandu.
A win over the Nepalese will ensure the Azkals’ qualification to the final round of the
continent's biggest football tournament for the very first time.
Instead, the Philippines will wait another match to complete a date with history.
The Azkals had the better of opportunities in the first 45 minutes, but they simply couldn't
find the goal.
The Philippines' best chance to break the ice came in the 60th minute, but Simone Rota's long
range strike was saved by the Nepal keeper. Phil Younghusband got the rebound but it went wide.
The last 30 minutes was an epic struggle for the Azkals, who failed several opportunities to
score the needed goal as the hosts put up a gallant fight.
It was the Philippines' third straight draw. Now with nine points, the Azkals could find
themselves tied on with the winner of last night's key match between Yemen and Tajikistan, both with
identical six points.
Against Tajikistan next year, the Philippines needs a win or at least a draw to secure