Teen Azkals drawn with tough foes in U-16, U-19 qualifiers

The Philippine national Under-16 and Under-19 football teams, also known as the Teen Azkals, will compete against tough opponents when they play in two tournaments in Asia this year.

The U-16 squad will participate in qualifiers for the age group’s championship in the Asian Football Confederation, playing in Group J alongside regional football powerhouse Japan, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

Aside from the Philippines, 42 countries will participate in the tournament that has been divided into 10 groups. The winner of each group, as well as the five best runners-up, will qualify for the 2014 AFC Under-16 Championship in Thailand.

The best four teams in the AFC U-16 Championship will represent Asia in the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile in 2015.

The Philippines’ U-19 team will face defending champion South Korea, host Indonesia, Laos and Guam in Group G in the qualifiers for the age group’s championship.

Also a football powerhouse in Asia, South Korea clinched the AFC U-19 crown last year towin its 12th title since the competition began in 1959.

40 countries will take part in the qualifiers, which is divided into nine groups. The top teams from each group and the six best second-placed teams will join host Myanmar in the AFC U-19 Championship in October next year.

The top four teams in the AFC U-19 Championship will then advance to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand in 2015.

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