Logo_of_Philippine_Football_Federation.svgMANILA, May 31 (Mabuhay) – Although they finished runner-up to Palestine in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup, Malacañang on Saturday lauded the Philippine “Azkals” football team for their gritty stand against the eventual champs.

Presidential Communications Operations Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said the Philippine players showed great courage in facing the powerhouse Palestine team in Maldives early Saturday, PHL time.

Binabati natin ang Philippine Azkals sa kanilang magiting na paglaro sa AFC Finals… Bagama’t hindi sila nagwagi sa malakas na koponan pinakita nila ang tapang sa pakikipaglaban,” he said on government-run dzRB radio.

He added the Palace expects the Azkals to proudly wave the Philippine flag in future competitions.

The Azkals had to settle for second place in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup after losing to Palestine, 1-0.

It was the first time the Philippines or Palestine had reached the final of any competition. (MNS)