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Azkals in crucial tiff

BOCAUE, Bulacan – The Philippines’ status as Southeast Asia’s highest-ranked nation will be put to naught if the Azkals failed to at least advance to the semifinal round of the AFF Suzuki Cup last night here.

The Azkals gained seven spots higher to go 117th in the latest rankings released by the world governing body late Thursday, maintaining their hold as the region’s top team and 12th in Asia.

However, that status the country has claimed for most of the year has yet to translate into major success, and their campaign in the region’s biggest football competition may end if they fail to beat defending champion Thailand in their game being played at presstime. (Jonas Terrado)

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