Ever since the Asian Cup changed it’s format back in 2004, the tournament was only contested by the top 16 teams within the region. For the first time ever in the history of the AFC Asian Cup, there will be 24 participating teams in the tournament. Also for the first time ever, the Philippines grabbed a spot to participate in the highest tournament for Asian Football.
Due to the new format, there will be a total of 6 groups of 4 national teams that will compete in a single round robin. The top 2 teams per group are already assured of a slot in the Round of 16, meanwhile only the Top 4 third placers will move on to the next round.
How likely will the Philippine Azkals qualify for the knockout stages?
After the Philippine Azkal’s debut match in the competition versus the heavily favored South Korean squad, one would be left wondering on our chances to progress through the next round. It is definitely a miracle that our squad went down by only a single goal after the relentless attacks by our opponent.
Since we’re still at 0 points after the first match, we may need at least a Draw, a Win, and a good Goal Difference to secure at least 4 points in the group and make it to the Ro16.
Even if we may not make it through, we will definitely be proud of our Azkal’s historic run to this tournament.
By: Mari 🙂