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MD2 Preview - Group A: Guam vs Philippines; Maldives vs China PR

Kuala Lumpur: Matchday Two of Group A will see China PR kicking off their Asian Qualifiers bid as Maldives look to build on their winning start while Guam and Philippines will be desperate for the three points after having suffered losses on Thursday.

Maldives carved out a hard-fought 1-0 win over Guam in Dededo to pick up three valuable points in their bid to qualify for the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and AFC Asian Cup China 2023 while Philippines suffered a 5-2 defeat to Syria on Matchday One.

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Guam had been counting on their home form to boost their qualification hopes but suffered the agony of a defeat instead, which places them under pressure going into Tuesday's tie with the Philippines.

Head coach Karl Dodd blamed the defeat on the slow start Guam made against Maldives.

“It took us a long time to get going and start playing football,” said Dodd after the match. “Not starting to play until the second half is not good enough.”

MD1 - Group A: Guam vs Maldives

The East Asians will have to hit the ground running against a Philippines side reeling from their defeat to Syria and Dodd is confident Guam will be up to the challenge.

“The teams (in Group A) are ranked higher (than Guam). I understand that,” Dodd said. “At the end of the day, they’re human beings, just wearing a different coloured shirt. We just have to be brave, and believe in ourselves.”

The Philippines started on the right note against Syria, with Javier Patiño giving them a seventh minute lead but once Omar Al Soma equalised in the 15th minute, the West Asians didn't look back.


Patino, however, is confident Philippines can still be successful in the Asian Qualifiers.

"The positive thing is how we started the game. We scored a goal in the first 15 to 20 minutes. We played with intensity, but after the goal, we relaxed a little. I think that something good is coming," said the striker who plays his club football with Thai side Ratchaburi Mitr Phol.

Venue: Guam FA National Training Center, Dededo
Kick-off: 15:30 (UTC +10)


Their confidence boosted after securing three points against Guam, Maldives will be excited with the challenge China PR will offer at the Rasmee Dhandu Stadium.

The South Asians, despite being ranked higher than Guam, were not really expected to win the tie but took early control and their approach paid off with Ibrahim Mahudhee scoring what would eventually be the winning goal in the 26th minute.

Petar Segrt and his players, however, know that China will be a tougher test altogether as the East Asians are determined to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar Finals.

The Brazilian-born Elkeson, who recently received Chinese citizenship, is in line to make his debut as Marcello Lippi's China PR start their Road to Qatar campaign.

Venue:Rasmee Dhandu Stadium, Male
Kick-off: 20:00 (UTC +5)

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