MANILA, Philippines- The Azkals fell short in the AFC Challenge Cup finals, bowing down to Palestine by 1-nil. Azkals, who last played and won by 4-3 against Palestine in 2012, couldn’t find the magic to repeat their past success.
Palestine was the better team in the first half, advancing the ball with super superb passing while keeping their defense compact. The Azkals maintained a clean sheet thanks to Roland Muller’s saves in the 15th and 30th minute. Azkals had shots at goal but were mostly off target.
Azkals’ Phil Younghusband had his best chance at goal in the 40th minute but wasn’t able to convert. Palestine’s Ashraf Nu’man Alfawaghra’s free kick from about 32 yards in the 57th minute was the game’s lone goal and deciding factor.
Palestine was still having their way in the second half, a brilliant save from their goalkeeper kept Daisuke Sato from scoring an equalizer in the 86th minute.
Azkals team manager Dan Palama congratulated the champions.
Congratulations to Palestine, we lost to a good team tonight. To all the Palestinians, we pray that peace may finally reign in your land,— dan stephen palami (@dscpalami) May 30, 2014
The win earns Palestine their first trip to the Asian Cup, which kicks off January 2015 in Australia. – Rappler.com
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