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Sports

Lucena stars anew in Azkals repeat win over Maldives

Alder Almo - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines -- The Philippine Azkals shakes off a two-month rust before exploding in the second half to take down Maldives, 2-0, on Thursday night at the Rizal Memorial Football Stadium. 

The friendly, which serves as the Azkals' final tune-up match before they take on Uzbekistan in the FIFA World Cup Qualifier next week, saw a scoreless first half.  

The Azkals needed some luck to break the spell when Maldives' 23-year old winger Mohamed Samdhooh scored an own goal just three minutes into the second half. Jerry Lucena doubled the Azkals' lead in the 55th minute, his second career goal against Maldives.

Lucena also scored in a similar 2-0 win over Maldives during the semifinals of the AFC Challenge Cup last year. 

The Azkals hope to carry the momentum of this victory when they stake their unbeaten run against the 76th ranked Uzbekistan on Sept. 8 in the Philippines Sports Stadium at 8 p.m.

AZKALS CHALLENGE CUP JERRY LUCENA LUCENA MALDIVES MOHAMED SAMDHOOH PHILIPPINE AZKALS PHILIPPINES SPORTS STADIUM RIZAL MEMORIAL FOOTBALL STADIUM UZBEKISTAN WORLD CUP QUALIFIER
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