Azkals to open 2014 with friendly versus Malaysia

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The Philippine national men’s football team, also known as the Azkals, will begin their preparations for the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup with a March 1 friendly against Malaysia, the Philippine Football Federation announced on Wednesday.

The friendly, the first match of the Azkals in 2014, will take place at the Selayang Municipal Council Stadium in Malaysia.

The Philippines is ranked 127 in the world, while Malaysia is at 154 in the global FIFA Rankings.

The Azkals had a home-and-away series against Malaysia in 2012. They scored 1-1 (a draw) at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in February of 2012, in the debut of Denis Wolf, and then Malaysia won 1-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium in June of the same year.

The Challenge Cup is set for May 19-30 in Maldives. Before that, and before the friendly though, the Azkals will need to find a coach to replace Michael Weiss, who was let go by the PFF last January 15.

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