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Azkals grouped with familiar foes in FIFA WC qualifiers


BINAN — The Philippine Azkals found themselves with familiar opponents in their group for the second round of the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers.

Following a draw that took place at the Asian Football Confederation office in Kuala Lumpur, the Azkals are in Group A with China, Syria, Maldives, and Guam.

The Azkals have already faced China, Maldives, and Guam in friendlies or tournament matches, which means the Azkals now have an idea on how to deal with the other sides while exerting their effort in scouting Syria.

Meanwhile, interesting stories will spark two of other seven groups in the qualifiers.

Four Southeast Asian nations, namely Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Indonesia, are in Group G with the United Arab Emirates.

On the other hand, Group H will have both North and South Korea alongside Lebanon, Turkmenistan, and Sri Lanka.

Australia, Jordan, Chinese Taipei, Kuwait, and Nepal are in Group B while Group C, on the other hand, has Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Hong Kong, and Cambodia.

Group D will have Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Palestine, Yemen, and Singapore.

Group E consists of Bangladesh, Oman, India, Afghanistan, and Qatar, while Group F is made up of Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Myanmar, and Mongolia.

The teams that will top each group, plus the four best second placers, will qualify for the next round of the World Cup Qualifiers and will gain outright seats to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup.

The other second placers, the third placers, and the four best fourth placers will enter the third round of the Asian Cup Qualifiers.

The remaining 12 teams will then dispute the other seats in the Asian Cup Qualifiers through playoffs. (PNA)