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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Malacañang invites Azkals to visit Palace after victory


While it admitted it still has no plans whether to mount a grand welcome for them, Malacañang invited the Philippine “Azkals" football team to visit the Palace following their rousing 3-0 victory over Bangladesh in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifying match Friday.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda also said the Palace joins the Filipino people in congratulating the football team on its victory at the Bogyoke Aung San Stadium in Yangon, Myanmar.

We hope to see them, though we don’t know when they are returning to the country. They are more than welcome to visit the Guest House," Lacierda said on government-run dzRB radio.

He said his regret was that he was not able to see a live telecast of Friday’s match.

On Friday, Filipino-Spanish player Angel Guirado starred in the Azkals' 3-0 dismantling of Bangladesh.

The Philippines finished undefeated after consecutive draws with Myanmar (1-1) and fellow qualifier Palestine (0-0) – a 3-1 winner over the hosts – to enter the Last 8.

Other quarterfinalists were Group B qualifiers India and Turkmenistan, and the Maldives and Tajikistan (Group C).

Group D – which has 2010 AFC Challenge Cup champions North Korea, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the winner of the playoff match between Cambodia and Macau – will start their final qualifying matches on April 7.

The top two teams in Group D will earn the last two spots in the Last 8 of the biennial tournament.

But the next phase of the tournament for the first time means a tougher job for the Azkals, who are expected to arrive in Manila on Sunday. — LBG, GMA News


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