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Philippine Azkals Wins Against Mongolia Blue Wolves

The Philippine Azkals made Pinoys proud when they carved out a hard-earned 2-0 victory over the Mongolia Blue Wolves in the first leg of their Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Challenge Cup qualifying tie at the jampacked Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City on Wednesday night.

Emilio "Chieffy" Caligdong scored the Philippines' opening goal in the 42nd minute while the second goal was scored by Phil Younghusband in the 92nd minute.

"Sobrang saya ko. Kung anong ibinigay na instructions ni Coach [Hans Michael Weiss], ginawa ko lang." said Caligdong.

German coach Hans Michael Weiss, who was tapped by the Azkals' management after the team's success in the 2010 Suzuki Cup, said the win has effectively sent a message to other competitors in the Asian level. "The Philippines is now in the competition." he declared.

The Azkals received a major morale boost from more than 18,000 Filipino fans who trooped to Panaad Stadium. Among those who witnessed the match were Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) president Peping Cojuangco and Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Richie Garcia, whose sports agency helped install the additional light at Panaad so that the match could be televised.

Also present were ABS-CBN Chief Executive Officer Eugenio "Gabby" Lopez III, ABS-CBN Vice-President for Sports Peter Musngi, Batangas Vice-Governor Mark Leviste, former Commission on Elections (COMELEC) commissioner Gregorio "Goyo" Larrazabal and Negros Occidental Congressman Carlos "Charlie" Cojuangco.

Meanwhile, Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano Araneta Jr. disclosed that President Benigno Aquino III released P3 million from his Social Fund for the organizational needs of the Azkals-Blue Wolves international football match.