Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 12) The Philippine Azkals may have ended their 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign but a possible Asian Cup return is still possible after a commanding 3-0 win over Guam in the joint World Cup-Asian Cup qualifiers in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
Azkals forward Angel Guirado opened the scoring line in the 12th minute coming off a feed from new callup Oliver Bias.
Guams Marcus Lopez scored an own goal in the 61st minute from a Manny Ott free kick from the left flank which gave the Azkals a comfortable 2-0 lead.
Veteran national team player Mark Hartmann, who came off the bench after being in the starting lineup in the Azkals losing effort against China on June 7, sealed the Filipinos victory in the 87th minute by scoring a goal from his low free kick. 
With the win, the Azkals maintain their hold at solo third place in Group A with ten points and a win-loss-draw record of 3-3-1.
The Scott Cooper-mentored national team also made their way to the third round of the 2023 Asian Cup qualifiers after fourth placer Maldives was crushed by China, 0-5, in the succeeding match.
Even if Maldives wins against the Philippines on June 15, the Azkals are still assured of their Asian Cup qualifiers entry since the South Asian booters have only six points in the team standings.
The Philippines made its historic debut in the 2019 Asian Cup but failed to notch a single win in group play. The 2023 Asian Cup will take place in China.
Only the top teams of the eight brackets and the five best second place squads will advance in the third round of the 2022 World Cup Asian qualifiers. Syria is the leader of Group A with 21 points.

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