The Philippine Azkals leaned on a first half goal by Kenshiro Daniels to edge host Bangladesh, 1-0, Friday night and top Group B of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Sylhet, Bangladesh.
Daniels struck the only goal of the match in the 23rd minute as the Azkals ended the group phase by winning all two matches and arrange a semifinal duel against either Palestine or Tajikistan in the Bangladeshi city of Cox’s Bazar on Tuesday.
Palestine and Tajikistan was disputing the top spot in Group A at presstime, the loser to be relegated to a semis affair with the Philippines.
Also making an impact is veteran goalkeeper Michael Casas, who did a good job behind the sticks to deny the host squad at least an equalizing goal in the final minutes.
The national side is competing in the tournaments some of its familiar names like brothers Phil and James Younghusband, Stephan Schrock and Neil Etheridge.
Despite lacking star power in the competition, the Azkals formally clinched their spot in the semis last Wednesday with a comfortable 3-1 win over Laos.
Handling the squad is multi-time UAAP champion coach and former Azkals mainstay Anto Gonzales of the University of the Philippines.