Tales from the crypt: PHL in 2002 Qualifiers

I found a few old stories I wrote about the last time the Philippines joined the qualifiers. Two reasons why I'm posting it. 1.) It's been said the Sri Lanka game will be the first World Cup qualifier match and 2.) I spent a darn lot of time scouring through old files that I want to reward my effort.

RP 2002 World Cup qualifier matches
April 30 vs. Syria
May 1 vs. Syria
May 7 vs. Oman
May 11 vs. Oman
May 19 vs. Laos
May 26 vs. Laos (in Manila)

FORMER Southwestern University mainstay Rocky Garciano start another chapter of his football career when the Philippines open their World Cup 2002 qualifying bid against Syria today in Aleppo, Syria.
The 22-year old Garciano was a member of the Salazar Institute of Technology team who won the Coke-Go-For-Goal crown in 1996. He then played for the SWU Fugsports under Glenn Ramos for two years before he was recruited to play for the Philippine Army.
Garciano, a sleek midfield operator during his stint with SWU, has been training with the national team for the past months in preparation for their international matches.
Also today in Syria, 100th ranked Oman will take on 169th ranked Laos in the other Group 1 action. Syria is ranked 104th and the Philippines 181st.
Accompanying the Philippine today in their sortie in Syria is newly named national team coach, Imai Matasaki a former Japanese League coach and Philippine Football Federation secretary general Chris Monfort.
The delegation will stay in Syria for a few days as they will have their second game against Syria on May 4.
After their Syria matches, the national team will fly to Muscat, Oman for their May 4 and May 7 matches against the Omanese.
On May 19, the RP team will play Laos in Vientiane, Laos and will host the lone home game on May 26 in Manila against Laos.
Meanwhile, the Philippines further slipped down the world rankings this month. In the recent ratings released by FIFA, the sport’s world governing body, the country slid two notches to 181, down from last March’s 179.
The country’s ranking is a far cry from fellow Southeast Asian neighbors and 61st ranked Thailand, 96th ranked Indonesia, and 105th ranked Malaysia.


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