Team Talk: What the Azkals need to know about Tajikistan

FOX Sports Asia looks at to Philippines’ 2019 Asian Cup qualifiers in the coming week and profile their upcoming opponent Tajikistan.

Philippines are due to take on Tajikistan in their AFC Asian Cup Group F qualifier on March 27 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila.

The Azkals warmed up for their last crucial Asian Cup qualifier with a 3-2 win over Fiji in a friendly last Thursday.

England-based goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and the Younghusband brothers, Phil and James have been called up by head coach Thomas Dooley for this game, but how much do you know about Tajikistan?

Here are some interesting facts and figures before the Azkals go into battle against Tajikistan.

Country: Tajikistan
FIFA Ranking (as of 15 March 18): 124
Nickname: The Crowns
Head Coach: Khakim Fuzailov
Captain: Nuriddin Davronov
Player to watch: Manuchekhr Dzhalilov

Photo sourced from Getty Image

Manuchekhr Dzhalilov is a prolific Tajik forward who is currently playing for Indonesian Liga 1 side, Sriwijaya.

The 27-year-old, who has 23 caps to date, has scored 15 goals for his national side and last struck in the 3-0 victory over Nepal last October in the Asian Cup qualifiers.

He made his international debut in September 2011 in the 1-0 loss to Uzbekistan in a World Cup qualifying match.

AFC Asian Cup group standings and results:

Tajikistan are currently third in Group F with seven points. They are level on points with second-placed Yemen.

They have won twice, drawn one and lost twice after five matches played.

The Crowns’ Asian Cup group F qualifying results are as follows:

Yemen 2-1 Tajikistan
Tajikistan 3-4 Philippines
Nepal 1-2 Tajikistan
Tajikistan 3-0 Nepal
Tajikistan 0-0 Yemen

Past meetings with Philippines:

14 June 2017 (Asian Cup qualifiers)
Tajikistan 3-4 Philippines
Pamir Stadium, Dushanbe
(Umarbaev 57; Vasiev 61; Dzhalilov 90) (P. Younghusband 28; Patino 41, 48; Sato 79)

13 March 2012 (AFC Challenge Cup)
Tajikistan 1-2 Philippines
Halchowk Stadium, Kathmandu
(Negmatov 45+1) (P. Younghusband 54; Guirado 80)

14 November 2017 (Asian Cup qualifiers)
Tajikistan 0-0 Yemen
Pamir Stadium, Dushanbe

Match details:

Philippines vs Tajikistan (Asian Cup qualifiers)
Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila
March 27, 1930HKT