MANILA (14 March 2012) – Philippines beat Tajikistan 2-1 in the crucial final Group B match of the AFC Challenge Cup 2012 last night at the Halchowk Stadium to book their place in the semi-finals of the championship this year.
With the win where they denied the 2008 champions a place in the next round, the Philippines will now play Turkmenistan in the semi-final in two days.
“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,” said Michael Weiss, the chief coach of the Philippines.
“I am moved. I am honoured and proud to be coach of this team.”
Tajikistan went ahead in the 44th minute through defender Alexey Negmatov before Phil Younghusband found the equaliser nine minutes into the second half. Ten minutes to the end, Angel Guirado slotted home the winning goal to give the Philippines a place in the final four.
With ten minutes left to play the Philippines got the goal their pressure deserved with Guirado bravely heading home from close range, with the burly midfielder getting the better of Tuychiev and covering defender to send the Azkals through to a final four meeting with Turkmenistan.
AFC CHALLENGE CUP 2012
FINAL GROUP B STANDINGS