Goal.com previews the semi-final clash between the Turks and the Azkals as the two teams are set to battle for a berth in the finals...
Turkmenistan had a comparatively easy way through winning two of their group stage matches against Maldives and Nepal with comprehensive margins besides a goalless draw with Palestine whom they led on goal difference in Group A.
The Turks had beaten Pakistan and Taiwan in the qualifiers of the Challenge Cup 2012, while their next opponents are first time Challenge Cup semi-finalists having faced all the former champions in the group phase in this edition of the competition.
Both Bahtiyar Hojjahmedov and Gauvanch Hangeldiyev returned for the Green Men against Nepal after serving their suspension - the latter even went on to score a goal - while striker Gahrymanberdy Chonkaev is among the top scorers for them with two goals.
Philip Younghusband, on the other hand, has so far with three goals for Philippines as the Street Dogs definitively made their way through to the knock-out stage banking on their wins against India and Tajikistan despite suffering a defeat to DPR Korea in their opening game.
Hans Michael Weiss' worry, however, will be the absence of James Younghusband and Angel Guirado, who picked two yellow cards in the group stage, while Chieffy Caligdong is most likely to be ruled out injured for the Azkals.
|| DID YOU KNOW?
- Turkmenistan had fallen 17 places down in the FIFA Rankings to 166th position last month as they did not play any matches in the month of February.
- Turkmenistan (166) entered the competition ten points below their semi-final opponents Philippines.
- Philippines coach Michael Weiss graduated with a degree in Sports Science and Management and has been part of the backroom staff at clubs like Arsenal and Real Madrid.
- The Presidential Spokesperson Mr. Edwin Lacierda of the Philippine government has personally urged the Azkals to continue to perform their best and do their country proud.
- A sexual harassment case against team members Guirado and Lexton Moy is being pursued by former Philippine Olympic Committee president Cristy Ramos-Jalasco.
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