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Pressure on for Azkals after draw vs Nepal

The draw against bottom team Nepal last Tuesday in Kathmandu cranked up the pressure on the Philippine Azkals, who are suddenly on a slump after a strong start to the AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

And while the Azkals are still on top of Group F with nine points and are still unbeaten in five matches, the fact remains that the squad has dropped six points in the last three games after two draws with Yemen and the goalless tie with Nepal.

Photo from GoNepal.com
Azkals coach Thomas Dooley has refused to put the blame on his players, saying they fought well despite the conditions in Nepal, where some standouts like Misagh Bahadoran suffered altitude sickness.

“The players did an excellent job when you think what they had to go through the past three months,” said Dooley, noting the compressed schedule of the Philippines Football League as well as the conditions in Nepal.

In Manila, Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta expressed alarm over the run of results of the team, which needs a draw against Tajikistan on the final day of qualifiers on March 27 to clinch an Asian Cup berth.

Author: Cedelf P. Tupas, Inquirer
Full Article: http://sports.inquirer.net/272596/pressure-azkals-draw-vs-nepal

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