Azkals face Maldives in warm up for World Cup
The Philippines faces a familiar foe in its buildup for a crucial World Cup Qualifying clash with Group H top seed Uzbekistan next month.
The Azkals take on Maldives on Sept. 3 at Rizal Memorial Stadium in their first meeting since the memorable AFC Challenge Cup semifinal duel won by the Philippines in extra time last year.
Both Thailand and Vietnam begged off from playing the Azkals as the teams opted to play at home before their own qualifying matches. But the Philippine Football Federation finally worked out a deal with its Maldives counterparts to set up the clash.
The Azkals are looking to keep their perfect record against an Uzbekistan team ranked 49 places higher in their Sept. 8 meeting at Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue, Bulacan.
Victories over Bahrain and Yemen gave the Azkals six points for second spot behind North Korea on goal difference in Group H.
After the Uzbekistan game, the Azkals face a tough away trip to Pyongyang to play North Korea on Oct. 8 before flying to Manama for a clash with Bahrain on Oct. 13.