Philippines still have a lot of work to do to secure one of the 24 spots at the 2023 Asian Cup tournament scheduled to take place in ten stadiums across ten Chinese cities. As things stand, Philippines soccer won’t be represented in China unless qualification is sealed.
The first two rounds of the 2023 Asian Cup was also the same as the first two rounds of the Qatar 2022 qualifiers in the Asian section. In the first round, Philippines soccer received a bye to the second round. For the second round, Philippines were in a five-team group alongside the Peoples Republic of China (China PR), Guam, Maldives and Syria. They were all drawn into Group A.
At the end of the campaign in Group A, Philippines soccer missed out on the top two spots which would have guaranteed further progress in the World Cup qualifiers. The first two teams moved into the third round of the Qatar 2022 qualifiers and also qualified automatically for the China 2023 Asian Cup.
Syria finished at the top of Group A with 21 points from eight, while China PR was not far off in second place with 19 points from eight games. Philippines finished third behind China and Syria in their group, but they were a long way off the top two in terms of the points recorded at the end of the group campaign.
The reward for finishing third in Group A ahead of Maldives in fourth is a place in the third round of the qualifiers for the 2023 Asian Cup quarterfinals. Guam were fifth out of the five-team group and they had to feature in the play-off round to boost their hopes of making it through to China 2023. In the end, they didn’t qualify for the third round after they were beaten by Cambodia.
In the third round, Philippines soccer will face Mongolia, Yemen and Palestine.