Azkals miss chance to book 2019 Asian Cup berth

Philippines will have to wait till the final day of qualifiers to book their 2019 AFC Asian Cup spot following a 0-0 draw with Nepal.

Tuesday’s stalemate at the ANFA Complex in Lalitpur still sees the Azkals top of Group F on nine points, three ahead of Yemen and Tajikistan who played later in the day.

Regardless of the result in that game, there is still a chance both those sides can pip Philippines to a top-two finish, meaning they could now need a positive result against the Tajiks next March in order to advance.

It was a frustrating day at the office for Thomas Dooley’s charges, especially in a game that they were not only expected to win, but should not have had any lack of motivation in rising to the occasion.

To Nepal’s credit, they offered spirited resistance but the better chances fell the visitors’ way, only for them to fail to capitalise.

Still, Philippines remain in pole position to qualify for a historic first appearance at the Asian Cup, with a draw against Tajikistan in Bacolod in four months’ time definitely enough for them to achieve just that.