first_imgFILE – The Azkals celebrate a goal during their first round encounter with Syria in the Fifa World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Qualifying last September at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod.DUBAI—Surprisingly level with China at the end of the first round of matches in Fifa World Cup and AFC Asian Cup Qualifying, the Philippines seeks payback against another powerhouse in Group A as the Azkals take on Syria anew on Tuesday at Al Maktoum Bin Rashid Stadium here.The Azkals arrived in this bustling economic hub in high spirits after their 2-1 away win over the Maldives in Male last Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT READ: Azkals overcome Maldives for 2nd win in World Cup qualifiersBut they’ll be battling a Syrian side that has won all of its matches so far, including a tough 2-1 victory over China last Thursday that kept China at seven points just like the Azkals after four matches.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSAndray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai SottoSPORTSBig differenceSPORTSAlmazan status stays uncertain ahead of Game 4Syria came from behind to drub the Azkals, 5-2, in their first round duel at Panaad Stadium last September in Bacolod City – a result that left a bitter taste for captain Stephan Schrock.READ: Azkals absorb heavy defeat to start World Cup qualifying bid Phivolcs: Cloud seeding in ashfall affected areas needs study “Things will really open for us if we get a win tomorrow (Tuesday),” said Cooper. “We need to show desire and character and we need every player to step up.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Lava gushes out of Taal Volcano as villagers flee DSWD Bicol donates P1.5M worth of food packs for Taal eruption evacuees ‘People evacuated on their own’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. LATEST STORIES 2 village execs nabbed in Bohol buy-bustcenter_img MOST READ “That was a hard result to swallow that night so we’re looking for redemption,” said Schrock. “We’re looking to learn from our mistakes. The next game will prove that we learn from our mistakes. We took in even more tactical stuff for this match and we’re looking to connect better on the pitch.”Azkals coach Scott Cooper said his team “got too brave and adventurous” against the Syrians in their initial meeting. “We saw in Bacolod how strong and talented they are, but we rocked them in the first 20 minutes so that gives us confidence,” said Cooper.The race for the top spot in the group remains open with Syria holding a five-point edge over China and the Philippines.A win for the Azkals will trim that gap to just two points with the Philippines still to play Maldives and Guam at home next year. The other Azkals assignment in June 2019 will be against China on enemy ground.Only the top team in the group will advance to the third round of qualifying together with the four best second-placed teams from the eight qualifying brackets.ADVERTISEMENT No need to wear face masks in Metro Manila, says scientist GALLERY: 2019 UAAP Cheerdance Competition 400 evacuees from Taal eruption take refuge in Mt. Banahaw Andray Blatche has high praise for teammate Kai Sotto Special Christmas delivery for US troops in Syria PLAY LIST 01:33Special Christmas delivery for US troops in Syria00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:05Poor visibility, nakaapekto sa maraming lugar sa Batangas03:028,000 pulis sa Region 4-A, tuloy ang trabaho03:57Phivolcs, nahihirapan sa komunikasyon sa Taal01:04Sold-out: Stores run out of face masks after Taal spews ash01:45Iran police shoot at those protesting plane shootdown01:54MMDA deploys rescue team to Batangas following Taal eruption View commentslast_img

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