By Gabriel TanFollow @@gabetan13
In an entertaining encounter, Phil Younghusband scored what proved to be the winner seven minutes after the hour mark when his firm effort took a wicked deflection and sailed past Rahmanberdi Alyhanow.
But even before kickoff, both sides were virtually assured of their place in next year's tournament in Maldives, after comprehensive victories over Cambodia meant whichever team finished second was still likely to qualify as one of the two best second-placed teams.
However, there was still plenty on offer on Tuesday, especially for the Azkals, who were looking to avenge their 2-1 semi-final defeat to Turkmenistan in the 2012 edition.
Just a minute in, Philippines were unlucky not to take the lead when Stephan Schrock made his way down the left and into the area before clipping a lovely ball into the path of Younghusband, who could only watch on in agony as his neat left-footed strike came back off the post.
Alarmed by the early warning, Turkmenistan gradually got into their stride and soon enjoyed the better of the proceedings; Azkals keeper Roland Muller having to be alert and clean with his handling to keep out a series of long-range strikes.
But five minutes before the break, it was the hosts' turn to be rescued by the woodwork after Jumanazarov Akmyrat rose highest inside the box to meet a Gahrymanberdy Conkayew corner, only to send a bullet header smashing into the crossbar and over.
With a vociferous home crowd cheering them on, Philippines came out for the second half looking rejuvenated and Alyhanow produced a fine save in the 56th minute to deny Javier Patino in a one-on-one situation, after Younghusband had turned sharply on the edge of the area and treaded the ball through to his strike partner.
But 11 minutes later, the Azkals finally found the breakthrough when left-back Dennis Cagara did extremely well to win the ball from Sohrat Soyunow inside the box and lay it back to Patino. The Buriram United striker was felled but the ball rolled invitingly to Younghusband, who proceeded to unleash a shot that made its way into the back of the net via a deflection.
Although Turkmenistan showed plenty of endeavour in their hunt for an equaliser, they were ultimately unable to find a way past a resilient opposition defence, marshalled brilliantly by captain Rob Gier.
Nonetheless, Philippines' victory was soured five minutes from time when Younghusband, already on a yellow, picked up a second booking for cynically tugging back Akmyrat, and he, along with Gier who was also booked, will miss their first game in Maldives next March.