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Azkals battle Chinese

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by Jonas Terrado

Stephan Schrock hopes to see the Philippine Azkals build on their impressive showing in Monday’s 1-0 loss to South Korea going into their next two matches in the AFC Asian Cup.

The Azkals surprised everyone by battling the mighty South Korean side to a scoreless tie in Dubai until Hwang Ui-Jo broke the spell with a 67th minute goal that denied the Asian Cup debutants of at least a draw.

While the Azkals are happy with the way they performed in their opening match, Schrock and company are looking to seize the opportunity as they face China tomorrow and Kyrgyzstan on Jan. 16.

“I talked to some friends and received a lot of messages from former teammates and they are saying we did very well and we have something to build on,” Schrock told the Asian Football Confederation’s official website.

“We have confidence,” added the Ceres-Negros midfielder. “That’s why we qualified in the first place, and we believe always in ourselves to upset someone and be annoying to other teams.”

South Korea’s Hwang Hee-Chan, center, and Philippines’ defender Daisuke Sato battle for the ball during the AFC Asian Cup group C soccer match between South Korea and Philippines at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Monday. South Korea won 1-0. (AP)

South Korea’s Hwang Hee-Chan, center, and Philippines’ defender Daisuke Sato battle for the ball during the AFC Asian Cup group C soccer match between South Korea and Philippines at Al Maktoum Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates Monday. South Korea won 1-0. (AP)

The top two teams in Group C and possibly the third placer qualify for the round of 16, and the Azkals are eager to show that they mean business going into the next two games.

The Azkals are currently in Abu Dhabi to take on China, which opened its own Asian Cup campaign with a scary 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan.

Coach Sven-Goran Eriksson’s men return to Dubai to wrap up their group stage assignment against Kyrgyzstan.

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