All thanks to the game: An Azkal afterthought.

The Philippines settled for a scoreless draw against Palestine March 23, putting them in a dangerous albeit dramatic situation of a no-more-tomorrow challenge to beat Bangladesh in the next 2 days.

At that time, the National team has already survived 2 devastating earth quakes, and weathered a stressful game that took Phil Younghusband, their prized striker, away from them in the most important playoffs of their lives yet. A day before the match, veteran Yanti Barsales was battered down, goalkeeper Neil Etheridge was having digestive issues, and Rob Gier had flown out of Rangoon into Britain to his pregnant’s wife aid. Not only did they have to win, they have to win over a team fresh from a rout victory over Myanmar- a squad they were only able to draw 1-1 at the start of the group round. The pressure was on and the circumstances were not helping.

All of this the nation is only seeing through Twitter updates from the team and the media contingent who were allowed in to Burma. The Azkals had to almost literally rely on just themselves to go through the final hurdle.

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