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Out of contention PHL battles Indonesia at Asian Qualifiers


Match Tuesday(Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, Jakarta, Indonesia )7:30 p.m. (8:30 p.m. in Manila) — Indonesia vs Philippines

THE PHILIPPINES may be bowing out of the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers (WCQ) but it intends to do so swinging as it faces Indonesia Tuesday at the cavernous Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Stadium in Jakarta.

With only one point on one draw and four losses, the Filipinos are no longer in contention for the two tickets to the third round of the WCQ at stake in Group F.  But they’re motivated nonetheless to fight it out in the 7:30 p.m. road gig (8:30 p.m. in Manila) before an expected 70,000-strong crowd at GBK.

“It’s the last match for us. Sadly enough, we are out of contention to reach that goal, but we are looking forward to the game,” said Philippine coach Tom Saintfiet.”

“We will do everything to get a result. A draw would be fantastic, a win would be a miracle. But it is our duty for the Philippine fans, for our development, our country, to try and get the maximum points here, even if we know that Indonesia will be the favorite.”

Mr. Saintfiet looks to build on this as his youth-laden crew shifts to the next battles like the Mitsubishi Electric Cup and the next round of the qualifiers for the AFC Asian Cup.

It’s a must-win game for the Indonesians, who are seeking to join runaway group winner Iraq (15 points on five straight wins) in the march to Round 3.

The Merah Putih run second with seven points on 2-1-2 win-draw-loss and are disputing the second berth with third-running Vietnam (six points on 2-0-3). The Vietnamese shoot for a road victory against Iraq in Basra hours after the Indonesia-Philippine match in Jakarta. — Olmin Leyba

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