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    Azkals settle for draw vs Maldives at end of World Cup qualifying

    Jun 16, 2021
    Azkals
    Angel Guirado celebrates with his teammates after scoring the Azkals' only goal.
    PHOTO: PFF/The Azkals

    THE Philippines was forced to a 1-1 draw by Maldives on Tuesday night at the close of the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers at the Sharjah Stadium in United Arab Emirates.

    Angel Guirado opened scoring in the 19th, but the Philippines conceded a goal six minutes later with Ali Fasir taking advantage of a porous Azkals defense to connect on the equalizer.

    Stephan Schrock carried the fight in the second half that led to numerous scoring chances, but the elusive marginal goal never came as the Azkals settled for a point in their final fixture inside the Sharjah bubble.

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    Nevertheless, the Azkals will still advance to the third round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers and doing it by tallying 11 points on three victories, two draws, and three defeats, surpassing the 2018 World Cup qualifier performance where it tallied 10 points.

    Guirado broke the ice for the Azkals by scoring on a volley that bounced into the net for his second goal in the Sharjah bubble.

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      Maldives though was able to salvage a point with Ali Fasir eluding two Azkals defenders to score in the 25th minute to avoid another defeat, with its campaign in the second round ending with a 2-1-5 win-draw-loss slate.

      The match also saw Jarvey Gayoso playing as a striker for the Azkals, and fellow development team member Mar Diano playing his first cap.


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      Angel Guirado celebrates with his teammates after scoring the Azkals' only goal.
      PHOTO: PFF/The Azkals
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