By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines —The Philippine football team will see action in three major tournaments in 2011, including the qualifying tournament for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil which the country is joining for the first time in more than a decade.
The Azkals resume their campaign in February when they clash with Mongolia in a home-and-away tie in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup qualifier.
The home game will most likely be held at the Panaad Stadium in Bacolod on Feb. 9, but the Philippine Football Federation is also pushing to have the away game at Panaad because of the cold weather in Mongolia.
Also lined up is the qualifying event for the 2014 World Cup and the Southeast Asian Games in December in Indonesia.
The SEA Games is an Under-23 event and only six players from the senior team, including goalkeeper Neil Etheridge and Jason de Jong, will be eligible for the tournament.
Given little chance because of their poor results in the past, the Azkals emerged as the surprise package of the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup, reaching the semifinals where they bowed to Indonesia.