The Philippine National Football Team must set aside the heartbreak of Friday’s 2-1 semi-final defeat against Turkmenistan as they get ready to face the equally resilient Palestine Al-Fursan (Knights) on Monday’s third place match of the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup.
Palestine has never lost a match whenever Attal manages to drive the ball on the back of the net. Murad has not been named on their squad in Kathmandu. In his absence however, the Filipinos should set its sights on 2006 Challenge Cup top scorer Fahed Attal. The 5’11” striker scored his thirteenth international goal last week against hosts Nepal in their group stage fixture.
In the second half, however, the Azkals started to bite back, with Chieffy Caligdong and Yanti Barsales conspiring to score what would have been the game-winner for the Philippines in the 64th minute. Aside from having more shots, the Azkals had a 7-3 advantage in free throws.
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Like the 156th-ranked Azkals, the 160th-ranked Knights are going home with their heads high no matter the result of this match as both squads are now guaranteed their respective best finishes in this tournament’s history.
Midfielders James Younghusband of Loyola Meralco Sparks FC and Angel Guirado of Global FC have finished their suspensions and can be put in the lineup against the Knights by coach Hans Michael Weiss. With Etheridge of Fulham FC suspended after a late sending-off in the semis, Ed Sacapano of Army Fritz & Macziol will most likely man the Filipinos’ net.