AFC Challenge Cup

Manila: Phil Younghusband’s second-half strike that ensured the Philippines sealed their place at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup finals with a 1-0 over Turkmenistan in the qualifying Group E decider on Tuesday but the forward’s night was to end an a low note after being sent off with five minutes remaining.

The 25-year-old, who was top scorer at the last AFC Challenge Cup, struck the only goal of the game 67 minutes into the top-of-the-table clash at the Rizal Memorial Stadium as the Azkals not only booked their ticket to next year’s tournament proper in the Maldives but also gained revenge for the 2-1 defeat by Turkmenistan that denied them a place in the final of Nepal 2012.

The defeat proved not too costly for the back-to-back AFC Challenge Cup runners-up who emerged from the qualifiers as one of the two best second-placed teams from the five groups alongside Laos.

The non-participation of Brunei in Group E meant that the results of the matches in the four other groups between the runner-up and the bottom-placed team were declared null and void.

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