Riding high on its impressive result against China just a few weeks back, the Philippines faces the most critical stretch of its Fifa World Cup qualifying bid this month as the Azkals travel to the Maldives and the United Arab Emirates for their matches in Group A.The Azkals face Maldives on Nov. 14 at National Stadium in Male, before taking on Syria five days later at Rashid Stadium in Dubai.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Rice industry paralysis View comments LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. MVP Dairo leads Bukidnon to Mindanao Cup title “We need to consistently produce those types of performances if we want to reach the next level in Asia,” Cooper told the Inquirer Sunday night.“We can’t just rest on that result [against China]. These next two matches are a chance for us to continue to push our level up.”The Azkals are sitting on third spot in Group A with four points, behind Syria, which has nine, and China, seven points.ADVERTISEMENT Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:30Eriksson’s ‘Azkals’ put Philippines on Asian Cup map00:50Trending Articles02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue What’s behind the display of Chinese flag in Boracay? Priority legislation in the 18th Congress Duterte officials’ paranoia is ‘singularly myopic’ Both matches will have plenty of weight on the Azkals’ aspirations of reaching the third round of the qualifying tournament that will also give them an outright spot to the 2023 AFC Asian Cup in China.In their last meeting in Male, the Philippines beat Maldives, 3-2, in extra time four years ago in the semifinals of the AFC Challenge Cup.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40SPORTSSan Miguel suspends Santos, Nabong, Tubid indefinitely after ‘tussle’ in practiceAzkals coach Scott Cooper said the draw against higher-ranked China should not just be a “one-off” for the Philippines.Cooper is targeting a reversal against the Syrians, who defeated the Azkals, 5-2, at Panaad Stadium last September. Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics Drilon apologizes to BCDA’s Dizon over false claim on designer of P50-M ‘kaldero’ Someone from the Philippines could win a $208 million jackpot this week! Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014?