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article imageAzkals to face Bahrain after scoreless draw game with North Korea

By Leo Reyes     Oct 9, 2015 in Sports
After holding group leader North Korea to a scoreless draw Thursday in Pyonyang, the Philippine Azkals gear up for a crucial showdown with Bahrain on Oct.13 in the FIFA World Cup qualifying games.
North Korea is leading Group H with 10 points. The group includes Philippines with seven points, Uzbekistan with six points, Bahrain with three points while Yemen is still scoreless.
The draw with North Korea was already considered a big accomplishment for the Azkals, since North Korea had qualified for the World Cup in the past and also in the Olympics.
“To survive here, speaks a lot of this team and the fighting spirit that they showed,” said Azkals coach Thomas Dooley. “They just fought and never gave up. I’m very happy with the performance,” he said.
Philippine Football Federation (PFF) President Mariano Araneta told in a phone interview that the draw was “an excellent result.”
“We are still in contention for at least a slot in the Asian Cup qualifying,” Araneta added.
The Azkals are coming off a 5-1 loss against Uzbekistan on Sept.8 at the Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan.
The Uzbeks were unstoppable after scoring two goals in less than 15 minutes of the game courtesy of captain Odil Akhmedov and Sardor Rashidov in the 14th minute of the first half.
The visiting team was already riding on four goals when the Azkals barged in to the win column after a conversion by Stephan Schrock on the 68th minute.
The Azkals tried but failed to capitalize on the momentum of their first conversion as the Uzbeks were determined to foil the Azkals attempts at the goal that resulted in another conversion by the visiting team, giving them five points in the closing minutes of the game.
Before the game, the Azkals had two straight wins in the ongoing FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Bahrain 2-1 on June 2 and Yemen 2-0 last June 16.
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