Azkals join Palestine, Yemen, host Mongolia in Asian Cup Qualifiers group stage

Photo from AFC

The Philippine Azkals will face familiar opponents this June after being drawn in Group B for third and final round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers in Ulanbaatar, Mongolia.

Aiming for a second straight appearance in the continental competition, the Azkals need to hurdle Palestine, Yemen and host Mongolia in the qualifiers slated June 8 to 14 after the groupings were determined in a draw ceremony Thursday.

Winning the group or becoming one of the five best second placers will send the Philippines into next year’s Asian Cup which China is slated to host in June 2023.

The Azkals have faced the three teams in the last decade, producing mixed results in the process.

Palestine handed the Philippines one of its heartbreaking defeats in football after claiming a 1-0 win in the final of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives, denying the Azkals a spot in the following year’s Asian Cup.

Yemen has won once, drawn twice and lost one time to the Azkals in the last seven years while Mongolia was best known for falling short against the Philippines in a qualifying round playoff for the Challenge Cup back in 2011.

The national booters are scheduled to begin their campaign on June 8 against Yemen before taking on Mongolia three days later.

They wrap up the single-round qualifiers in the Mongolian capital on June 14 versus Palestine.