THE Philippines takes on Tajikistan on March 27 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium with the Azkals hoping to qualify for the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup UAE 2019.
The Philippine Football Federation (PFF) announced on Thursday that the AFC has approved its request to hold the match in Manila instead at the Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium in Bacolod City.
The AFC is strict with both training and competition facilities for important matches, and Pana-ad Park failed to satisfy certain requirements.
The Azkals lead Group F with nine points but has yet to qualify for the Asian Cup. The team must beat—or at least force a draw—second-running Tajikistan (seven points) to advance to the continental meet.
The Azkals lost their chance to qualify for the Asian Cup last year when they drew in their last three matches—including a 2-2 result with Yemen last September 5 at the Pana-ad Park and Football Stadium.
“We hope all football stakeholders and supporters rally behind the national team,” PFF President Mariano Araneta Jr. said. “Qualifying for the AFC Asian Cup will be a historic moment in Philippine football.”