Fixtures

AFF Cup 11/27 10:00 2 Philippines vs Myanmar - View
AFF Cup 11/30 10:00 3 Laos vs Philippines - View
AFF Cup 12/03 10:00 4 Philippines vs Vietnam - View
AFF Cup 12/07 10:00 5 Indonesia vs Philippines - View

Results

Asia - World Cup Qualifying 06/11 12:30 6 [2] Indonesia v Philippines [4] L 2-0
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 06/06 12:00 5 [3] Vietnam v Philippines [4] L 3-2
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 03/26 11:00 4 [4] Philippines v Iraq [1] L 0-5
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 03/21 19:00 3 [1] Iraq v Philippines [4] L 1-0
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 11/21 11:00 2 [3] Philippines v Indonesia [4] D 1-1
Asia - World Cup Qualifying 11/16 11:00 1 Philippines v Vietnam L 0-2
International Match 10/17 16:00 - Bahrain v Philippines L 1-0
International Match 09/12 11:00 - Philippines v Afghanistan W 2-1
International Match 09/08 11:00 - Chinese Taipei v Philippines D 1-1
International Match 06/19 11:00 - Philippines v Chinese Taipei L 2-3
International Match 06/15 11:00 - Philippines v Nepal W 1-0
International Match 03/28 18:30 - Jordan v Philippines L 4-0

Stats

 TotalHomeAway
Matches played 9 4 5
Wins 1 1 0
Draws 2 1 1
Losses 6 2 4
Goals for 6 3 3
Goals against 17 9 8
Clean sheets 0 0 0
Failed to score 5 2 3

The Philippines national football team (Filipino: Pambansang koponan ng futbol ng Pilipinas) represents the Philippines in international football, governed by the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) and has been playing internationally since 1913.

Prior to World War II, the Philippines had regularly competed with Japan and the Republic of China in the Far Eastern Championship Games. So far, the national team has never qualified for the FIFA World Cup and has qualified for the AFC Asian Cup only once, in 2019. They finished second at the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup after losing to Palestine in the final.

Unlike most of Southeast Asia where football is the most popular sport, the Philippines' most popular sports are basketball and boxing, inherited from American rule. This drives away many football talents and contributes to the lack of success of football in the country. Often, the Philippines would suffer group stage eliminations at the AFF Championship.

However, since the 2010 AFF Championship, the country has attempted to develop football as part of the sport's renaissance, finding more incentives to increase football development and fan support. It eventually led to the country's first major tournament participation in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

History

1910s–1940s: Early years

The national team squad at the 1930 Far Eastern Championship Games.

The Philippines participated in the Far Eastern Championship Games, which included football. The first edition was in 1913 and the last was in 1934. The games were the first regional football tournament for national teams outside the British Home Championship. The national team routinely faced Japan and China and at one edition the Dutch East Indies at the games. The Philippines won over China at the inaugural tournament with a scoreline of 2–1. During the 1917 edition, the national team achieved its biggest win in international football. Led by Filipino-Spanish icon Paulino Alcantara, the Philippines defeated Japan 15–2.

After the dissolution of the Far Eastern Championship Games, the national squad participated in the 1940 East Asian Games organized to commemorate the 2600th anniversary of the foundation of the Empire of Japan by Emperor Jimmu. The team finished third behind champions Japan and second placers Manchukuo, and ahead of the Republic of China.

1950s–1990s: Decline of football

In the 1950s the Philippines hosted friendlies with international-based sides, However, the national team experienced lack of funding and barely received any coverage from the media. During that time talents from the national team were drawn from the Manila Football League which received substantial support from the Chinese-Filipino community. The national team's decent performance at the 1958 Asian Games, hosted in Tokyo, where they defeated Japan 1–0, was labeled as an upset by the Japanese press.

The years following 1958 saw the decline of Philippine football, as several key players resigned from the national team due to financial challenges for playing. National team players Ed Ocampo and Eduardo Pacheco switched to basketball, and went on playing for commercial basketball clubs where players are paid. The Philippine Congress passed Republic Act 3135 that revised the charter of the Philippine Amateur Athletic Federation, which had a provision, or a 60-40 rule, that mandated teams to not have more than 40 percent Chinese and other players with foreign blood. Sponsors withdrew and leagues, which were mostly funded by the Chinese-Filipino community, started to decline. The 60–40 rule was lifted much later during the tenure of president Johnny Romualdez of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF), after 1982 when the PFA had reorganized itself as the PFF.

The national team suffered defeats with big margins at the 1962 Asian Games in Jakarta. This includes the national team's record 15–1 defeat to Malaysia, which became the worst defeat of the national team at that time. The record was later broken by the 15–0 loss to Japan in 1967 at the qualifiers for the 1968 Summer Olympics. Foreigners were hired to serve as head coaches for the national team in an attempt to reduce big margin loses. Englishman Allan Rogers was hired following the record defeat to Malaysia, and Spaniard Juan Cutillas was likewise tasked to lead the national team following the record defeat to Japan.

In the early sixties, the Philippine Football Association partnered with the San Miguel Corporation to seek foreign assistance to train local football players and coaches and to develop the sport in the country. These included Alan Rogers and Brian Birch, coaches from the United Kingdom. After the two were relieved, Danny McClellan and Graham Adams continued their task. In 1961, San Miguel, through the national football association, brought in four medical students from Spain who were experts in football — Francisco Escarte, Enrique dela Mata, Claudio Sanchez and Juan Cutillas. Escarte and dela Mata left the country after one year.

In 1971, head coach Juan Cutillas recruited five foreign players to play for the national team: four Spaniards and one Chinese. The national team joined several international competitions such as the Merdeka Tournament, Jakarta Anniversary Tournament and the President Park Tournament. The team caused some upset results against the national teams of Thailand, Singapore and South Korea. The national team saw another decline after the four Spanish players left the team due to financial reasons and basketball gained more foothold over football in the country.

The national team under German head coach Eckhard Krautzun finished fourth overall at the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, its best ever finish at the tournament. The Philippines dealt a 1–0 defeat to defending champions Malaysia at the tournament which knocked out the latter out of the tournament at just the group stage. Norman Fegidero scored the sole goal for the Philippines.

2000s

In September 2006, the country fell to 195th on the FIFA World Rankings, its lowest ever. By the end of the year, the Philippines moved back up to 171st overall, after a good run in the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship qualification. They were able to win three games in a row, which was a first for the Philippines and thus qualifying for the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship. Coach at that time Aris Caslib, aimed to reach the semifinals with two wins at the group stage. The decision came despite Philippine Football Federation president Juan Miguel Romualdez stating that they would still be underdogs in the tournament and that they should not raise their expectations too high, as the Philippines have only gotten their first ever win of the tournament during the 2004 edition.

The Philippines eventually failed to reach their target, only getting a draw in three matches. Their poor performances led to Caslib's resignation, as well as the refusal of the PFF to register and enter the qualification stages for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. They would be one of four nations, all from Southeast Asia, not to enter after a record number of entries. However, it was revealed that the decision not to enter the 2010, as well as the 2006 World Cup qualification, was made during the PFF presidency of Rene Adad, whose term ended in 2003. Instead, the PFF wanted to focus on domestic and regional competitions.

The Philippines failed to qualify for any major competition in 2008. They missed out on the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup only on goal difference, and the 2008 AFF Suzuki Cup with an inferior goals scored record.

Dan Palami, businessman and sports patron, was appointed as team manager of the national team in 2009 by the Philippine Football Federation. The national team still received minimal support from the government. Palami made financial investments into the team using his own personal money. Since taking responsibility over the national team, he envisioned a plan named Project 100, which aimed to make the team among the top 100 national teams in the world in terms of FIFA rankings. More foreign-born Filipinos were called up to play for the national squad.

The national team (in blue) playing against North Korea (in red) at the Kim Il-sung Stadium in Pyongyang. The 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier match held on October 8, 2015, ended in a goalless draw

2010s: Era of renaissance

Players of the national team celebrating their first qualification ever for the AFC Asian Cup following their 2–1 win over Tajikistan on March 27, 2018

The Philippines's campaign at the 2010 AFF Championship under Simon McMenemy's tenure was a breakthrough. Holding a primal ticket as one of two teams along with Laos that had to qualify for the tournament, the Philippines advanced from the group stage for the first time, did not concede a single defeat, and their win against defending champions Vietnam in particular was considered one of the biggest upsets in the tournament's history. The match, which would later be referred by local Filipino fans as the "Miracle of Hanoi", is also considered the match that started a football renaissance in the country where basketball is the more popular sport. In the knockout stage, they had to play both their designated home and away games against Indonesia in Jakarta due to the unavailability of a stadium that passes AFF standards. The Philippines lost both games to end their campaign.

The following year, Michael Weiß became the head coach. The national team managed to qualify for the 2012 edition of the AFC Challenge Cup, the first time since qualifiers were introduced and also recorded their first ever victory in the FIFA World Cup qualification, beating Sri Lanka 4–0 in the second leg of the first preliminary round. Kuwait finished the Philippines' World Cup qualification campaign after winning over them twice in the second round.

In 2012, the Philippines qualified for the semifinals of the AFC Challenge Cup for the first time winning over former champions India and Tajikistan, though they lost 2–1 against Turkmenistan in the semifinal. In the third place-playoff the Philippines won 4–3 over Palestine. The Philippines won the 2012 Philippine Peace Cup, a friendly tournament hosted at home, which was their first title since the 1913 Far Eastern Games. At the 2012 AFF Championship, the Philippines replicated their performance in 2010 by advancing to the semifinal. They lost to Singapore on aggregate by a single goal in the two-legged semifinal.

The Philippines reached the final of the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup. With a berth to the 2015 AFC Asian Cup on the line, the Philippines lost to Palestine 1–0 on May 30. The Philippines once again advanced from the group stage at the 2014 AFF Championship by winning over Indonesia, the first time since the 1934 Far Eastern Games, and Laos despite their loss to Vietnam. The Philippines faced Thailand in the two-legged semifinal, coming up with a goalless draw against their opponents at home in Manila but losing the away match at Bangkok.

Thomas Dooley became the head coach of the national team. In October 2015 their 2–0 victory over Yemen in Doha, Qatar in the 2018 FIFA World Cup and 2019 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers was their first-ever World Cup qualifier victory away from home. Their campaign to qualify for the FIFA World Cup ended in the second round though they advance to the third round of the Asian Cup qualifiers.

In late 2016 the Philippines jointly hosted the group stage of the AFF Championship with Myanmar though they fail to progress from the group stage like they did in the past three editions.

Philippines in their debut tournament at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup.

Though the national team failed to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, they secured qualification for 2019 AFC Asian Cup after defeating Tajikistan, 2–1 at home in their final qualifier match. In May 2018, the national team reached 111th rank in the FIFA World Ranking making it the highest rank that the team has.

The Philippines made its historic debut in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup with a 0–1 defeat to South Korea. then a 0–3 loss to China and was edged 1–3 by Kyrgyzstan, with Stephan Schröck scoring a historic goal for the Azkals in the tournament.

2020s

Following a relatively successful debut in the Asian Cup, the Philippines began their 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification where they were grouped together with Syria, China, Guam and the Maldives. In their opening game, the Azkals met Syria at home and took an early lead, only to see the Syrians managed an outstanding comeback and smashing the Azkals 5–2 in Bacolod. Following the crushing home defeat, the Pinoys regained its pace with two away wins over Guam and the Maldives. Between these matches, the Pinoys also hosted China at home where they acquired an encouraging goalless draw, after a splendid performance by the Azkals goalkeeper Neil Etheridge which increased the team's chance. However, the Syrians once again blew the chance of the Filipinos, with the Syrians emerged with a 1–0 win over the Azkals. When COVID-19 pandemic led the games to be postponed to 2021, the Philippines had to play in a centralised venue in Sharjah. The Filipinos then won Guam 3–0, but lost 0–2 to China thus did not manage to reach the 2022 FIFA World Cup, before ending the qualification with a 1–1 draw to the Maldives. Nonetheless, the third place in their group meant the Philippines qualified for the third round of 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers.

At the third round of the 2023 AFC Asian Cup qualifiers in Ulaanbaatar, the Philippines managed to draw with Yemen 0–0 and defeat the hosts Mongolia 1–0 through a last-minute goal by debutant Gerrit Holtmann but were defeated 4–0 by eventual group winners Palestine. Despite finishing second in Group B, in which the five best runner-up teams across all the groups qualify for the tournament, the Azkals failed to qualify for the 2023 Asian Cup after finishing as the worst runner-up.

Long-time general manager, Dan Palami stepped down from his role in January 2024.

On February 26, 2024, the Philippine Football Federation announced it will retire the Azkals moniker after two decades in part of the new management.

The Philippines national soccer team, also known as the Azkals, is the representative team of the Philippines in international soccer competitions. The team is managed by the Philippine Football Federation and has been steadily improving in recent years.

The team's nickname, Azkals, is derived from the Filipino word "asong kalye," which means street dog. This nickname reflects the team's underdog status and their fighting spirit on the field.

The Philippines national team has a diverse roster of players, with many players of Filipino descent from around the world. The team has had success in regional competitions such as the ASEAN Football Championship and has been making strides in qualifying for major international tournaments.

The team's colors are blue and white, and their home matches are played at the Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila. The Philippines national team has a growing fan base and is seen as a symbol of national pride for Filipino soccer fans.