Philippine national men’s football team manager Dan Palami apologized to Filipino fans after the Azkals fell short of winning the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup early Saturday morning in the Maldives with a 1-nil defeat to Palestine.
sorry if we failed you PILIPINAS we tried but fell short. Thank u Daddy God for this opportunity. In victory & defeat, to God be the glory!
— dan stephen palami (@dscpalami) May 30, 2014
Winning the Challenge Cup could have earned the Azkals a ticket to the prestigious Asian Cup in 2015. Palestine instead will join defending champion Japan, Jordan and Iraq for the first time in the continent’s biggest football competition slated in Australia.
The Azkals surrendered a goal at the 58th minute to hand the Challenge Cup crown to Palestine, which gave the Filipinos a tough time at both ends of the pitch. During the match, Palami was ejected from the Azkals bench for complaining.
Despite the loss, the silver finish was no mean feat for the Azkals, who played in the Challenge Cup final for the first time and surpassed their third place finish in 2012.
Online, fans were disappointed with the loss but remained appreciative of the Azkals’ feat.