The second round draw for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2023 AFC Asian Cup Joint-Qualifiers was held at the AFC House in Malaysia on Wednesday and the opponents and schedule of the Philippines national team are now known.
The Azkals, 126th in the FIFA World Rankings and in Pot 3 for the Asian Qualifiers draw, have been pitted in Group A where they will be joined by China PR, Syria, Guam and Maldives as they look to qualify for the showpiece international football event to be held in Qatar in 2022.
The draw pitted 40 nations, including Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, Myanmar, Cambodia, Singapore and Indonesia from the ASEAN region, who were drawn into eight groups of five teams each.
While Vietnam was the highest-ranked ASEAN side in the draw in Pot 2, Thailand and the Philippines were in Pot 3. Malaysia and Myanmar were in Pot 4 while Cambodia, Singapore, and Indonesia found themselves among the lowest-ranked sides of Asia in Pot 5.
Philippines fixtures in the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers
1. September 5, 2019 – Philippines vs Syria
2. September 10, 2019 – Guam vs Philippines
3. October 15, 2019 – Philippines vs China PR
4. November 14, 2019 – Maldives vs Philippines
5. November 19, 2019 – Syria vs Philippines
6. March 26, 2020 – Philippines vs Guam
7. June 4, 2020 – China PR vs Philippines
8. June 9, 2020 – Philippines vs Maldives
The second round of the World Cup and Asian Cup joint-qualifiers will commence on September 5, 2019, and conclude on June 9, 2020. The matches in the group stages will be held on a home-and-away basis with each nation playing eight games in total.
The eight group winners, as well as the four best runners-up, will qualify for the AFC Asian Cup 2023 to be held in China as well as progress to the third and final round of the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers.
The next best 24 teams from the second round of the joint-qualifiers will take part in a separate competition to claim the 12 remaining slots in 24-team 2023 Asian Cup to be held in China.