Azkals rise in world rankings, now 148th


BUOYED by a historic third-place finish in the AFC Challenge Cup, the Philippines vaulted to its highest position in world football in the latest rankings released by the International Football Federation.

Once near the bottom at No. 195 a few years ago, the Azkals climbed to No. 148 in the April rankings after a string of victories in the Challenge Cup in Kathmandu, Nepal last month.

Led by top scorer Phil Younghusband, the Azkals turned out to be the surprise package of the tournament for emerging countries in the continent, stunning former champions India (2-0) and Tajikistan (2-1), before nipping Palestine (4-3) in the third place playoff.

The two losses of the Azkals in the tournament came against eventual champion North Korea (0-2) in the group stage and losing finalist Turkmenistan (1-2) in the semifinals.

“It hasn’t been an easy journey,” said Azkals manager Dan Palami, who took over the team in late 2010 when the team was hovering in the No. 165 to No. 185 positions. “We’re still a work in progress. We look forward to scaling new heights and we can only do that with training and international exposure.”

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  • peteryang47

    Good things dont come easy, and good intention are usually misunderstood, even in sports.
    When this team of yours was first formed, many couldnt see the good sides of it and many didnt realize the good intention it has for sport future in the country ( now your local league is turned into professional league, grassroot programme, etc)..Many has doubted and many had written  off the team at the early stage which remind me of the time when i once handled a local team as a coach.where many doubted and written the team off even before the team could participate in a local competition. The team went on to prove themselves and surprised everyone by beating the more fancied and stronger teams along the way and reached the final and when they walked up the poduim to receive their medals and trophy, i could only stand  on the field , watching them in slience, feeling proud for them and i realise the only reward as offical/coach gets is the self satisfaction inside him knowing he had accomplished his task by defying all odds and seeing the team on the winning poduim and that is the greatest satisfaction and best reward for a coach/official.
    What your present team has accomplished and  will be accomplishing, is for the future team of yours to emulate and to scale to even greater height.The future team need history of past achievements to motivate them and  to thorw to them a challenge to try to emulate  It is very important for the present team of yours to try to achieve as much  success as they could right now, for the better development of the game in the country and for the future generation to emulate.
    This present team of yours can achieve and accomplish more than what they had acheived so far. My advice to your team is..  the same advice i gave to the local team i mentioned above .. ‘IF YOU WANT IT REAL BAD ENOUGH, U WILL WORK HARD TO GET IT AS THERE IS NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH TO STOP YOU FROM REACHING WHAT YOU HAD SET OUT FOR..
    The worst feeling besides losing, is when you have to stand alone with your own beliefs and faith you have on the team  So try to be supportive to your team, officials/coach, when it comes to playing the game. So continue to play the beautiful game. God bless everyone here.

  • SolidBasketball

    Another milestone for Philippine football, another national honor !  No crabs please !

  • Juancho ren

    Let’s give the younger Azkals more appreciation as they are the backbones of our future national team.. More media exposure pls..

  • Juancho ren

    As much as the senior would like to achieve, the U14 ‘Little Azkals’ are also going to Italy this month for their training camp and friendly games then in May they will be participating the AFC U14 festival of football in Sabah, Malaysia after that the team leaves for Japan in June, a busy schedule indeed as they are now targeting the U21 World Cup after 8 years. This team offers more pinoy born players and more locally trained..

    • Maglalawis

      why do you have to emphasize the “pinoy born players and more locally trained”. anong gusto mong mangyari ha?

  • Joel

    aim high azkals!

  • Aaron

    a very commendable achievement for everyone concerned.  i hope this is just the start of something glorious! mabuhay ang futbol pilipinas !

  • Martin Smith

    We believe

  • PBA

    Congrats Azkals !

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