Coming off the heels of their historic result against China PR in Bacolod last month, the Philippines goes on an away trip in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 / AFC Asian Cup China 2023 Preliminary Joint Qualification Round 2, first against Maldives today, 14 November 2019 at the National Stadium in Male.
Sitting in third of group A with four points after three matches, the Azkals are looking to extend their unbeaten run, as they face the South Asian side for the third time overall in the past five years.
This will be their first meeting in Male since their pulsating semi-final encounter in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup where the Philippines stunned the hosts 3-2 in extra time to advance to the final.
Their most recent match-up was last September 2015 in Manila, where the Azkals came away with a 2-0 win against Maldives.
Among the players in the 23-man squad, goalkeeper Neil Etheridge, left-back Daisuke Sato, and midfielder Stephan Schrock are part of the six players who went there five years ago en route to a runner-up finish. Additionally, the Philippines has four players from their Under-22 pool in Yrick Gallantes, Edison Suerti, Justin Baas, and Marco Casambre.
Following this match, the Philippines head to Dubai, United Arab Emirates for their second meeting with Syria on Tuesday, 19 November 2019.