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Asian Qualifiers - Group A: Philippines defeat Guam to seal third place

Sharjah: Angel Guirado and Mark Hartmann were both on target as the Philippines claimed a 3-0 win over Guam at Sharjah Stadium on Friday that confirmed the Azkals’ third place in Group A of the second round of the Asian Qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

Guirado struck after 12 minutes while Guam’s Marcus Lopez put the ball in his own net on the hour mark to help the Philippines to their third win in seven games. Hartmann netted the third with less than three minutes remaining.

With Maldives losing 5-0 to China PR in the second Group A match on Friday, third spot assures the Azkals a place in the final round of the Asian Qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup China 2023.

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The Philippines were made to work for the win by the Matao even though Michael Kempter, wearing a protective face mask after suffering a broken nose in the meeting with China earlier in the week, had an early unsuccessful sight of goal.

It was not long, though, before the Azkals took the lead as Jefferson Tabinas’ ball from the back released Oliver Bias behind the Guam defence and his pace put him in position to slide the ball across goal to Guirado, who converted with a confident first-time finish.

While the Philippines dictated possession throughout the first 45 minutes, Lopez caused Filipino hearts to skip a beat in injury time when he swept his shot towards goal but the ball nestled safely in the midriff of goalkeeper Bernd Schipmann.

Seconds later the Azkals’ Stephan Schrock showed his passing precision when he released Bias and his cut-back from the bye-line found Mike Ott unmarked in the penalty area. The United City midfielder, however, saw his attempt clip the outside of Dallas Jaye’s left post.

By the hour mark, though, the Philippines had secured their second goal. After seeing Bias pull his shot wide of Jaye’s goal in the 52nd minute, Lopez bundled the ball into his own goal after Manny Ott’s in-swinging free-kick from the left.

Hartmann then added the third with a little over two minutes remaining when his low free-kick from the left swung through the Guam defence and found the bottom corner of Jaye’s goal.

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