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Philippines, Yemen both qualify for Asian Cup for first time

Philippines beat Tajikistan to advance to the Asian Cup.

Philippines, North Korea and Yemen earned the final three qualification places for next year's Asian Cup on Tuesday.

Philippines beat Tajikistan 2-1 in Manila to secure their spot, a result that also meant Yemen qualified before they even took the pitch against Nepal.

Needing a draw to qualify, Philippines -- managed by former United States international Thomas Dooley -- fell behind in the 64th minute as Ahktam Nazarov converted a penalty.

But Kevin Ingreso equalised with a header 10 minutes later, before Phil Younghusband scored the winner from the penalty spot in stoppage time to help Philippines qualify for the Asian Cup for the first time.

Yemen, who have played their home games in Qatar because of the ongoing conflict in the country, will make their debut at the continental tournament. South Yemen played at the 1976 event.

North Korea qualified for the fifth time by beating Hong Kong 2-0 at Kim Il Sung Stadium in Pyongyang.

The 2019 Asian Cup, scheduled to be played in January in the United Arab Emirates, will have an expanded 24-team field, eight more than the previous tournament.

Already qualified along with the hosts are: Australia, Bahrain, China, India, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Syria, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.


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