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Azkals settle for draw vs Maldives to end FIFA World Cup qualifiers

Azkals settle for draw vs Maldives to end FIFA World Cup qualifiers

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Azkals settled for a draw against Maldives on Tuesday, 1-1, to close the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers set at the Sharjah Stadium in United Arab Emirates.

Ending the second round with one win, one loss and one draw, the Azkals added four points to bump their total to 11 points — good enough to advance to the third round of the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

While their World Cup hopes were dashed with their loss to China in their first game in UAE, they surpassed their 2018 World Cup qualifiers performance where they only had 10 points.

In the draw against the Maldives, it was Angel Guirado who found the back of the net for the Azkals for their only goal in the match in the 19th minute off of a volley.

Maldives' Ali Fasir, however, scored six minutes later to make the Azkals' lead short-lived.

While skipper Stephan Schrock led the fight for the Azkals in the second half, the elusive second goal never came for the Azkals, which thus shared the points with Maldives to end their campaign in UAE.

The third round of the qualifiers are set to begin November this year and will carry on to the first half of 2022.